All-Weather Tide Pooling
Published: June 22, 2012
Hot or cold, wet or dry, summer has arrived, and families looking for all-weather activities are invited to drop in at Joppa Flats Education Center to meet tide pool beach creatures, Tuesdays through Saturdays, 9:00 am – 1:00 pm, all free of charge, beginning July 3 and continuing through July and August.
“Come visit us before the beach, after the beach, or instead of the beach,” says Lisa Hutchings, Teacher-Naturalist at Joppa Flats. “Our team of young naturalists will explain all the critters in our touch tanks – what they are, why they live where the do, how they interact with each other. You’ll know so much more about crabs and clams and barnacles and all kinds of shore life the next time you visit tide pools at the beach!”
Joppa’s young naturalists, ages 12 to 17, are trained to share information with visitors of all ages, but they are also expert at collecting and caring for marine wildlife. Aishwarya Jagtap of North Andover, a summer intern at Joppa, is one of three college students caring for the touch tanks with the young naturalists. She explains, “Our exhibit is a direct representation of what you would find right now in local tide pools. Every two weeks, we all take a trip out to the beach to release the animals to their natural habitat and to collect new ones, so we can show seasonal changes and offer new species to our guests.”
Young naturalist Catrina Smith of Newbury, age 10, says, “I like that I’m a creature caretaker for the touch tank. I get to squirt shrimp into the anemones, I hum to the snails with the little kids that visit, and I hand feed the hermit crabs. They are like puppies! I also like to let kids know that they really should put back the animals in their beach buckets and return them to the habitat. That’s really important.”