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Tide Pooling

Whether enjoyed by students, tourists or locals just out for a walk on the beach, tide pooling is easily one of the most popular activities on the Oregon Coast. Tide pooling is simply the act of exploring and enjoying the rocky pools which naturally exist on the coast and are exposed to air during low tide. It is a great way to learn about native animals, particularly marine invertebrates, practice your photography skills or simply enjoy time with friends and family.

To locate great tide pools in Oregon, learn more about tidal zones and even download a guide to common species, click here.

Preparation Makes Proficient

To make the most of your visit to a tide pool, we suggest your prepare ahead of time. Keep in mind that conditions of weather, temperature and surf are constantly changing on the coast, so appropriate supplies will help keep you comfortable and safe. Here’s some items you can bring to enhance your tide pooling experience:

Waterproof jacket and hat.
Sturdy shoes or boots with a gripping rubber sole.
Drinking water and a small snack.
Tide table or tide app loaded onto your smart device.

Waterproof / underwater camera.
A laminated or waterproof species guide.
Underwater observation tools, sometimes known as “sea scopes” or “aqua scopes.”

Being Safe, Being Respectful

Remember, tide pooling comes with some inherent risks, including sharp or slippery rock surfaces, wave action and potentially hazardous animals. Additionally, anyone who goes tide pooling should practice appropriate outdoor etiquette. There are also guidelines specific to tide pool etiquette, so click here to see this information from the Oregon State Parks.

Most importantly, you should also check your local tide table before heading out. Make sure you know when the tide will start coming back in so you’re not in a place where you can be trapped by rising water. For tips on how to read a tide table, click here. Additional information can be found on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Tides and Currents website.

Related Features: Youth Activities: Beachcombing | Outdoor Safety | Water and Beach Safety


Owen Goes Tide Pooling

Owen, a 12-year-old first-time visitor to the Oregon Coast, shares his experience and tips after exploring the tide pools at Seal Rock State Park.

What Is Sea Staring Wasting Syndrome?

In the video above, Owen talks about this mysterious set of symptoms known generally as Sea Star Wasting Syndrome. This phenomenon has caused the deaths of sea stars all along the West Coast. You can learn more about Sea Star Wasting Syndrome and how you can help monitor it in the wild by visiting seastarwasting.org.

Download A Guide to Oregon's Tide Pool Locations

This interactive PDF document will help guide you to Oregon's major tide pools. Download it into iBooks or a similar app with a WIFI connection and it will help you find these locations with just the touch of a finger.

Download A Guide to Species Common to Tidal Areas

Once you've found a tide pool to visit, this interactive PDF document will help identify the animals and plants common to these areas. Download it into iBooks or a similar app with a WIFI connection and it will help you find these locations with just the touch of a finger.