NORTH COAST INTERTIDAL AREAS
Oregon’s 395-mile coastline is both rugged and varied. Approximately 234 miles are sandy beaches, but the remaining 161 miles (41%) are rocky. The rocky areas that are alternately exposed and submerged by the tides are referred to as rocky intertidal areas, and they support a rich and varied community of plants and animals. And it is in these rocky areas that you will be able to find tide pools.
Tide pools are pockets of water left by the receding tide. These provide shelter for animals and plants that cannot tolerate exposure to air.
A word of caution:
Remember the tide will come back in and you can get stranded quickly.
Waves are unpredictable! Please, use caution when turning your back to the ocean.
Wet algae-covered rocks are extremely slippery. Watch your step!
Regulations for collecting marine animals may change from time to time. Consult the Oregon Dept. of Fish and Wildlife Sport Fishing Regulations for the most current information.
Be kind: Although the animals may seem to be very rugged, many are sensitive to disturbance so here are some guidelines:
After looking at animals under rocks or seaweeds, carefully cover the animals up so the sun and air will not dry them out. Replace rocks in their original positions. Organisms adapted to grow on the undersides of rocks will quickly die if the rock is left upside-down.
Whenever possible, try to walk on sand or bare spots to avoid stepping on plants and animals.
If an animal is difficult to remove from the rock, prying it off will probably injure or kill it. These animals can be best viewed in place.
If you pick an animal up, try to replace it in the same spot. Each animal is specialized to live in a certain habitat and may not survive if put into a different area.
If you are collecting animals or plants, take only what is necessary and what you will use. Also, familiarize yourself with the regulations; some areas are closed to collecting.
Better yet, capture them on film and leave the plants and animals for others to see.
Seabirds nest on cliffs, on the ground, and on offshore rocks adjacent to many intertidal areas. They are extremely sensitive to disturbance. Be a good neighbor and view them from a distance. Please avoid climbing on cliffs and offshore rocks.
Seals and sea lions often rest in rocky intertidal areas at low tide. They are also very sensitive to disturbance and are best viewed from a distance.
Please pick up and properly dispose of debris left by people.
North Coast Intertidal Areas:
Three Graces Between Rockaway and Garibaldi: The massive, stately rocks at Garibaldi signal some great tide pooling on this shoreline just on the inside of Tillamook Bay. You’ll have to cross the train tracks and the massive rip rap, and these only show up at fairly low tides.
There are no more tide pools to be found until you get to Oceanside, some 10 miles south of here, on the other side of the bay. Some may be found at Bayocean, at the beginning of the spit going through Tillamook Bay, but only at really low tides.
Barview Jetty and Nedonna Beach are all excellent places to find tide pools at low tide:
This rocky area is located just inside the mouth of Tillamook Bay. The intertidal area is small, but offers large boulders, which provide habitat for many common intertidal species. Parking is limited, and visitors must cross a railroad right-of-way to access the intertidal area.
Tide Pool Fun