There is something about water, whether it’s a river, lake, or ocean, that completely draws me in. Since I was a child, I have loved anything to do with the water. It seems so natural that I would find my home here on an island. When we first moved to Washington seven years ago, one of our first outings was up to the Olympic Peninsula to go tide-pooling. So, obviously, one of my first things I did when we decided to move to Whidbey Island was to sign up to be a Beach Naturalist at Deception Pass.
I was so convinced that becoming a Beach Naturalist was the right way to go that I started attending classes at Deception Pass before we even moved. I was committed to the cause. Four weeks later, I attended my final naturalist class and our group was bestowed the title “Knights of the Tide Pool”.
For celebration, we were treated to a beautiful boat ride from the folks at Deception Pass Tours. The ride was incredible, and sparked an urging to be outdoors and close to the water as much as possible.
I have always been an ocean conservationist. Since I was five years old, when I pointed at Shamu’s trainer and exclaimed “that’s what I want to do when I grow up”, I have learned everything I can and been inspired to do all I can to protect the ocean and ALL its inhabitants.
Being a Beach Naturalist doesn’t sound like exciting conservation work. But before the Beach Naturalist program, the tide pools along Rosario Beach were being demolished, just by people not understanding the complexities and fragility of tide pools. The only thing that was needed was for someone to show visitors how incredible a tide pool can be and then let them take care of their new discovery on their own.
Tide pools are one of those places for me that connects me to nature and my wild self in a completely fulfilling and healthy way. There are so many fascinating things to learn and explore and discover along a tide pool. The more I learn about the animals and the ecosystem, the more I understand that it needs and deserves our protection. Simple acts can help. Just appreciating tide pools helps protect them! Tide-pooling is one of the best activities I can think of that gets you outdoors, appreciating nature, and doing conservation work all in one go.