Thursday, January 3, 2013

Why stroll the rocky beaches at night?


If you are willing to wander along a dark beach during the next extreme low tide prepare to be astonished.  But the rewards come with the cost of shivering through a cold, rainy, and slippery evening exploration of the depths along a stream, between rocks and under piers.

During summer, the diverse community of coastal invertebrates do their best to hide from predators and avoid hot dry beaches.  But on a dark winter night they’ll be busy feeding, crawling around, and enjoying the cold.  

What kind of critters can we expect to reveal themselves on a wintery low tide at night?  Anemones, snails, slugs, chitons, limpets, crabs, shrimps, barnacles, urchins, and cucumbers to name a few.  If we’re lucky a baby octopus might be lurking under a rock.  We’ll be able to view a variety of microhabitats, each with their own community of creatures.

Join members of the North Sound Baykeeper Team and local naturalists on Friday, January 11 for an exploration of our shoreline during an extreme low tide.  The tide will be dropping to a -2.3 feet (at 10:40 p.m.) so we’re expecting some excellent viewing.

You will need curiosity, a flashlight, rubber boots, layers of warm clothes, and of course, raingear.  The beach will provide the entertainment, and we’ll provide the naturalists.  This is a great event for children who are supervised by their adults.

Registration is required.  There is a cap on the number of participants so we can protect sea life and provide assistance to the group.  To register and find out the details, contact Polly or Lee at (360)733-8307 or pollyc@re-sources.org.



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