A mother showing the kids a sedment
Photo: Matt McIntosh/NOAA

At the water's edge is the intertidal zone, a habitat that alternates between the dry and wet worlds. Tidepools occur where boulders and rocky outcrops trap seawater when the tide recedes. At high tide, they form surge channels, crevices and cracks that are home to many familiar seashore animals, like sea stars, hermit crabs, and sea anemones.

A mother showing the kids a sedment
Brightly colored purple and orange sea stars, green anemones, barnacles, and tubeworms hang on the side of a rock above a tidepool. Photo: Matt NOAA

Tidepooling is exciting for all ages. World class tidepooling can be found at Shi Shi Beach, Second Beach, Hole-in-the-Wall (near Rialto) and Kalaloch area beaches. Be sure to show care and respect while exploring the intertidal area.

Learn more about responsible tidepooling tips to minimize your impact.

Responsible Tidepooling Tips and Safety

Easily observed by beachwalkers at low tide, the intertidal areas of Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary are ideal locations to learn about the sea and its resources first-hand.

However, for these areas and their inhabitants to thrive, all visitors must show care and respect for the life at the water's edge: