When walking along the rocky beaches of Juneau, the scenery is overwhelmingly beautiful. Where the mountains meet the water, there are few views like that anywhere in the world. However, if you can take your gaze away the surrounding peaks you will find that the beaches are just as magnificent. When the tide is low, the ocean slips from the shore uncovering tide pools filled with marine wildlife and wonders. Scientists and researchers in Southeast Alaska have noted that there are over 170 invertebrates located in these tide pools. Some of invertebrates include starfish, hermit carbs, anemones, sea cucumbers and much more! There is just one trick: you really have know the tides and look. Here are some steps to help you find these hidden treasures:
1. Find out when it is Low Tide
When trying to find a tide pool be sure that the tide is low. Juneau has one of the most dramatic tidal swings and the levels of the ocean change throughout the day. The easiest way to find out the schedule is by searching on the internet, calling Fish and Game or asking a local fisherman or resident. Here is a tide chart found on the internet but remember to search for the most current information and that sometimes the best time for a low tide can be super early in the morning. So make a plan and know where to go!
2. Find the Perfect Beach
You will typically find tide pools filled with starfish and marine animals on rocky beaches and areas that contain perched pools of water. Take time to walk down stretches of beach looking for those characteristics.
Once you have found a tide pool be extremely careful and watch your step so you don’t walk on any of the fragile creatures living there. As you search you will find colorful and vibrant marine animals and you may be tempted to keep them or poke them. However, it is best to leave them where they are. If you can’t resist picking up a cool starfish, do so with great care and caution. Handling them too harsh or dropping them could easily be their demise.
As you go out and search for your own tide pools with family and friends, be sure to have fun and really enjoy all that Southeast Alaska has to offer!
All photos taken by Kelsey Jensen, view her website here.