By Joyce Amaro, LA Stormwater Public Education Manager

With summer almost over, my BFF Angela and I decided to take our young children down to San Pedro this past weekend to visit the tide pools just below the Point Fermin lighthouse. I was optimistic that our kids would see and touch a few sea creatures they so loved – hermit crabs, sea anemones, sea stars – but I’m also a realist. I know the impact that polluted urban runoff pollution has on marine life, and as we drove down the 110 Freeway, I tried to downplay the importance of finding critters and tried to focus the children’s attention on the beauty of the day and the ocean. Angela had brought along an identification chart that she had found online. She planned on checking off the sea creatures that we found. Again, I didn’t want to dash her hopes, but I wasn’t feeling confident that we’d actually find the sea animals that were so colorfully pictured on her print out.

So, imagine my delight and joy when we found the tide pools teeming with life! Over the course of several hours, we counted not one, not two, but a total of seven orange and deep purple sea stars, too many blue banded hermit crabs and porcelain crabs to count, myriad sea anemones and even a fat sea cucumber, slowly inching its way across the bottom of a deep tide pool! I’m not sure who had more fun – the kids or us adults – as we explored the rocks during low tide, calling out to each other our latest find and keeping tally of the creatures we were finding.

The trip to the tide pools made me realize that we so often focus on the impact pollution has on humans or larger sea life – dolphins, whales, seals – but there is whole community of small tidal pool creatures whose lives can be positively impacted by our daily choices to use a canvas bag or pick up after our pet or take part in a community cleanup. The little sea creatures at the shore and the educational fun they provided us that day was inspirational and made me proud of the work I do to protect them. It was a day to touch and be touched.

Photos courtesy of Joyce Amaro.



Comments (2)

  1. Angela Bellias
    August 20th, 2013 at 8:12 pm

    It was a magical day of treasure hunting the beautiful sea creatures all around us. Delighted to see so many critters close up. We are ready to go exploring again!

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