Oregon State Parks
Brochure about the Intertidal Areas at the Oregon Coast. Published by Oregon State Parks.
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Hidden beneath the waves Oregon’s 362-mile shoreline is more than just sandy beaches and rocky headlands. Retreating tides reveal some of the most diverse coastal ecosystems: tidepools. The organisms that live here are resilient ocean residents. They battle strong currents, water temperature changes and a lack of food and oxygen. Many tidepool inhabitants work together to survive. Oregon’s tidepools attract thousands of curious human visitors each year. Exploring tidepools can be a fun way to spend an afternoon, but certain precautions must be taken to ensure the resident creatures (and you) remain safe. Tips for visiting a rocky intertidal area Oregon’s Rocky Intertidal Areas • Know the rules before you go. Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife regulations protect tidepool animals. Check the Oregon sport fishing regulations (free at most stores selling sporting goods) for rules about collecting animals. • Visit the tidepools at least one hour before low tide. Start with the tidepools closest to the ocean and work your way back with the incoming tide. Bring a tide table too; look for them at a state park or local business. • Tides of zero feet and lower are best for visiting tidepools. Tides up to two feet high can still provide good viewing when the ocean is calm. • Travel slowly and carefully. Rocks and marine algae can be slippery. Also be careful around marine plants like seaweed. Many animals hide under ocean plants to avoid the hot sun and predators. • Always stay on marked trails. Many tidepools are located near unstable headlands and bluffs. • Always keep one eye on the ocean. Exploring a tidepool means you’ll be near ocean waves. Make sure an incoming wave doesn’t sneak up on you. If a big wave heads your way, lie flat on the rocks and hold on tight! • Expect to get wet. Wear appropriate clothing. If you get soaked, dry off soon. Evening temperatures can drop quickly on the coast, putting you at risk of hypothermia. • Look at, in, under and around. Tidepool creatures hide in creative places. After looking at animals under rocks and seaweed, re-cover them to prevent drying by the air and sun. • Touching or picking up animals is OK, but be gentle. Please return any animal you pick up to the exact spot you found it. • Never pull or pry an animal from a rock. Animals in the tidepools stick to rocks because of the waves and strong currents that wash against them. • Bring your binoculars. Harbor seal pups often rest on rocks and beach areas while their mothers feed offshore. Seabirds also use rocks for nesting and rearing their young. Please enjoy these animals from at least a 50-foot distance. Tidepools are alive! Please leave plants and animals just as you found them. State parks are nature preserves, where all living things are protected for others to enjoy. oregonstateparks.org Printed on recycled paper All information or fees subject to change without notice. This brochure is available in alternative formats upon request. Call 1-800-551-6949. Oregon Relay for the hearing impaired: dial 711. 63400-8136 (5/2018) Welcome to Our Home 25 22 SPRAY ZONE 24 1 HIGH TIDE ZONE 2 6 3 5 23 4 MID-TIDE ZONE 7 12 10 LOW TIDE ZONE 11 9 14 18 17 8 21 16 13 SUB-TIDE ZONE 19 20 15 BIRDS LOW TIDE ZONE SPRAY ZONE HIGH TIDE ZONE MID-TIDE ZONE 1. Acorn Barnacle 3. Purple Shore Crab 6. California Mussel 11. Gooseneck Barnacles 14. Giant Pacific Chiton 19. Nudibranch (Sea Slug) 22. Peregrine Falcon 2. Ribbed Limpet 4. Black Turban Snail 7. Ochre Sea Star 12. Surfgrass 15. Red Sea Cucumber 20. Sunflower Sea Star 23. Pigeon Guillemot 5. Rockweed 8. Rough Keyhole Limpet 13. Giant Green Anemone 16. Blue Top Snail 21. Sea Palms 24. Western Gull Brown text indicates animal. Green text indicates plant. 9. Hermit Crab 10. Black Leather Chiton 17. Purple Sea Urchin 18. Feather Boa Kelp 25. Black Oystercatcher Tidepools are divided into several zones. The zones are classified based on wave action, shoreline features and exposure during tidal periods. The organisms that live in each zone are dependent on a number of factors: water temperature, wave action, variation in salinity (saltiness), exposure to light and how much water is present. The conditions have to be just right for an organism to be comfortable in each zone. Some organisms are hardier than others and are able to live in multiple zones. Part of the fun of exploring tidepools is discovering a plant or animal where you least expected it to be! Spray zone: This area extends from the highest reach of spray and storm waves to the average height of the high tides. It is usually dry, meaning relatively few types of organisms can live here. High tide zone: This zone includes the area from the average high tide to just below the average sea level. It is a highly saline (salty) environment and experiences higher temperatures than other zones. Mid-tide zone: This zone extends from just below average sea level to the upper limit of the average lowest tides. Mid-tide zones experience more intense wave action than spray or high tide zones, but nonetheless are rich in animal and plant diversity. Low tide zone: This zone is exposed to air only at the lowest tides. This keeps temperatures and salinity levels more stable, allowing for more biodiversity than other zones. Organisms here are also more protected from predators—like big fish— because of the wave action and shallow water. ss to Re Tid str epo Ca oom ols mp s Pic ing n Sea ic Ar e Seals & S as bir ea Int ds Lion s er p r et ive P ro gra ms Ac ce o ca tio n Ma pL Oregon Coast Rocky Intertidal Sites Directions *Check Before You Collect Tidepool life is protected by Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife sport fishing regulations. Special restrictions prohibit or limit the collection of intertidal marine life in the sites noted. For specific information, check the ODFW regulations for each site. E 3 Oswald West M • • • •b • Located 10 miles south of Cannon Beach along Hwy 101. State Park • Located next to Oceanside, nine miles west of Tillamook. M • • • • Located 18 miles south of Tillamook, on the south side of the Access is from Short Beach, one mile north of Oceanside. E 6 Cape Lookout Cape. Take Pacific City Loop off Hwy 101. 7 Cape Kiwanda E/M • • •c • One mile north of Pacific City. Take Hwy. 101 18 miles north of State Natural Area Lincoln City, and turn west on Three Capes Scenic Route. 8 Otter Rock M • • • • Located nine miles north of Newport. Take Hwy. 101 to the Devil’s Punch Bowl State Natural area turn-off located between mileposts 132 and 133. 9 Yaquina Head E/M • • • • •d • Turn west off Hwy. 101 at Lighthouse Road in Agate Beach, Outstanding Natural Area four miles north of Newport. 10 Seal Rock State M/D • • • • •b Located 10 miles south of Newport off Hwy. 101. Recreation Site Access is from Seal Rock State Recreation Site on the north and two turn-offs south of main park. 11 Yachats State E • • •b • Located north of the Yachats River. Take Hwy. 101 and turn west Recreation Area on 2nd St. or Ocean Dr. Use caution in heavy surf. 12 Cape Perpetua E/M • • • • •e • Take Hwy. 101 two miles south of Yachats. 13 Neptune State Scenic Viewpoint E 14 Strawberry Hill M/D E Portland Tillamook 6 101 Note: All coastal rocks and islands are protected as National Wildlife Refuges. They are closed to all public use to protect breeding wildlife. Contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (541-867-4550) for information. 5 7 Pacific City 22 • • • •b • Located three miles south of Yachats off Hwy. 101. • • •b • Located within Neptune State Scenic Viewpoint. • •b Adjoins the southern boundary of Neptune State Park. 18 18 22 Lincoln City 8 9 10 Albany Newport 20 Corvallis Waldport 34 5 Eugene Reedsport 38 Winchester Bay 18 Cape Arago State Park M/D • • • •b • Located 11 miles south of Coos Bay. 19 Five-Mile Point M Take Seven Devils Road 13 miles south of Coos Bay, off Hwy. 101. Use public access from end of Whiskey Run Road, walk north on beach. E 5 • • •f Located in Bandon. Access to intertidal area is from either 17 Unit of Oregon Islands south bank of the Coquille River or from the bluff off National Wildlife Refuge 11th St. 18 Coos Bay Charleston 21 Cape Blanco State Park M • • • • Located approximately 10 miles northwest of Port Orford. Turn off Hwy. 101 north of Port Orford, follow the signs. 19 Coquille 22 Port Orford E • • In Port Orford turn west off Hwy 101 onto Harbor Drive. Follow signs to 23 Rocky Point M Located three miles south of Port Orford off Hwy. 101. 24 Arizona Beach State Recreation Site E 25 Lone Ranch Beach E • • •b Located 12 miles south of Port Orford off Hwy 101. • Located five miles north of Brookings off Hwy. 101. E • • • • •b • Located just north of Brookings, west of the campground. Access 26 Harris Beach State Recreation Area is from the main parking lot by walking south along the beach. 27 Winchuck Beach E Access is from road parallel to the north side of the Winchuck River. Rocky intertidal area is ¾ mile north of parking lot. 42 101 21 Port Orford 22 23 24 5 Grants Pass Gold Beach Access Ratings E – Easy; trails generally paved or well maintained from the parking area to the rocky intertidal area. Not very steep. M – Moderate; trails are either steep, or have one or more sections that are poorly maintained. D – Difficult; trail requires climbing. 1 Interpretive programs vary in availability and timing. They are generally more prevalent during spring and summer weekend low tides. Some only provide services to organized groups. a = Haystack Rock Awareness Program—contact Cannon Beach City Hall, 503-436-8060 b = State Parks—contact Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, 1-800-551-6949 c = Kiwanda Environmental Learning Program—contact Nestucca Neskowin Watershed Council, 503-965-2200 d = Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area—contact U.S. Bureau of Land Management, 541-574-3100 e = Cape Perpetua—contact U.S. Forest Service, Cape Perpetua Visitor Center, 541-547-3289 f = Shoreline Education for Awareness—call 541-313-6751 Roseburg Bandon 20 Port of Port Orford. Main intertidal area is north of the boat dock. 2 Springfield • • • • •b Located 12 miles north of Florence. 17 Sunset Bay State Park E • • • •b • Located nine miles south of Coos Bay and less than ½ mile south of Cape Arago Lighthouse. 20 Coquille Point Salem Depoe Bay 11 Yachats 12 13 101 14 15 126 16 Florence Visitor’s Center is located between mileposts 168 and 169. 15 Bob Creek to E/M Bray Point Access to intertidal area is south of Bob Creek. 16 Heceta Head Lighthouse 6 4 5 • • • Located 10 miles west of Tillamook on the south side of the Cape. 5 Maxwell Point 26 3 Access is at Gower St. and Second St. M Cannon Beach 2 • •a • Located within Cannon Beach city limits. 4 Cape Meares Seaside 1 1 Ecola State Park M • • • • •b Located two miles north of Cannon Beach. Take Hwy 101 to Cannon Beach and follow signs. 2 Haystack Rock 30 Astoria 25 26 Cave Junction Brookings 27 199 Medford Ashland