Living Between a Rock and a Hard Place
Tide pools along the California coast are protected. In San Diego, there are many of these hidden gems available for the general public to explore. Remember, these are living habitats where all surfaces above and below the water are encrusted with life, and we encourage you to be respectful while exploring.
The tide pools closest to Birch Aquarium, in La Jolla, are within Marine Protected Areas. These are places with limited use by people, similar to a state or a national park. If you aren't ready to get your feet wet, Birch Aquarium’s Preuss Tide Pool Plaza is home to many of the tide pool animals you would see off our coast, including endangered abalone.
Want to learn more about Marine Protected Areas? Attend one of Birch Aquarium's seasonal naturalist-guided Tidepooling Adventures or a Shark Snorkel and explore some of the protected areas within the marine reserves.
Planning on visiting a the rocky shore? Check out NOAA's Ocean Etiquette guide and bring a copy of our Tidepooling tips!