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Intertidal Excursions

Let’s go Tidepooling!

People enjoy exploring the many tide pools of Maine, but do you actually know about the amazing critters that live between the tides? If you are age 7 or older, Coast Encounters will take you on a true, hands-on Maine adventure where you will roll up your sleeves and romp in the tide pools. Tidepooling excursions are run daily (weather permitting) May through October in Kennebunk, Wells, or Ogunquit. Other locations may be accommodated upon request.

If sitting on a boat for hours squinting to catch a glimpse of marine life doesn’t appeal to you, you’ve come to the right place.  You’ll peek under rocks and seaweed, learn how to identify over 30 intertidal plants and animals, and use all five of your senses while you are with Carol. And you’ll learn how to explore the ecosystem in a way that is both safe and respectful to the wildlife living there. Plus our excursions won’t make you seasick!

Discover Life Between the Tides: A Typical Intertidal Excursion

A typical intertidal excursion with Coast Encounters is 2 ½ to 3 hours long. Complimentary water shoes are loaned to those without them. We’ll start off by heading to the shore and looking over the lay of the land. We’ll talk about how critters can thrive in such a rough and ever-changing environment and what kind of survival skills they have developed in order to live in between the 10-foot tides of Maine. Though some crustaceans are a little nippy, you will find nothing poisonous or toxic in this region; in fact many plants and animals are edible!

Heading into the rockweed zone, Carol will first give safety tips for navigating over the slippery rocks and seaweed, and then explain tidepool etiquette. Then it’s off to find the critters!

You Will Learn

Staying together in a group, Carol will identify the marine life she and participants discover, pointing out cool facts and giving everyone a chance to hold and make close examinations, before returning them back to their homes.

  • identifiable features
  • native vs. invasive species
  • who is male or female
  • who is pregnant
  • how they move
  • how they protect themselves
  • proper handling technique for holding crabs and baby lobsters
  • what they eat
  • who eats them
  • what’s edible for people

What You’ll See

The intertidal region is one of the most diverse ecosystems on the planet. On a typical day with Coastal Carol you might see:

  • 3 kinds of crabs
  • 4 kinds of snails
  • 2 kinds of mussels
  • Sea stars (commonly known as starfish)
  • Sea urchins
  • Many varieties of algae (or seaweed); some edible too!
  • Limpets and slipper shells
  • Barnacles
  • Coiled tube worms
  • Scuds
  • Isopods
  • Baby lobsters 

Once the tide turns, it’s time to make our way back. Having been knee-deep in the tidepools, participants come away with a wealth of new knowledge and appreciation for this diverse ecosystem, and a skill set for navigating safely over slippery rocks and seaweed. Parting gifts and simple snacks are given at the end and any photos taken by Coastal Carol will be emailed to you later that evening.

Let’s go tidepooling! Email or call Coastal Carol at 207-831-4436 to plan your Maine intertidal adventure.