Life at the Intertidal Zone

Sunlight pounding for hours. Dry salty air swirling. And then water crashes onto the scene: thundering, foaming, booming. The anemones open like a flower in bloom, reaching gratefully upward with sticky tentacles, swaying in the surf. The sea stars cling tight with suction cups, refusing to be swept away, to be tossed by the relentless waves. The crabs scuttle to safety. The limpets hold tight to the rocks. The intertidal zone is no easy place to live.

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Yet life persists there. There in the baking sun. There in the salty sea air. There in the pounding, swirling surf.

At LBA today, Ms. Kathryn and the other summer program teachers impart the wonder and hardships of life in the tide pools to their classes. The kids learn about these pools on the sea shore, covered in water twice a day at high tide, exposed to the sun twice a day at low tide.

First the kids make their own paper versions of tide pools – complete with drawings of sea animals and sand around the edges.

Then the kids get to make their very own sea slime, like the slimy sea slugs. The slime goes into bags for later. The journals come out. Pencils poised in kids’ hands. And the children write their own definition of what they’ve learned a tide pool is. Both with words and with pictures.

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Journals back on the shelf, paper plates out. A seahorse craft. And then on to the seashells. Each kid gets to decorate, in their own special, creative way, a seashell. A seashell like the ones that the anemone uses as armor against the dry air. Like the ones that the turban snails retreat to for protection from that same dryness. Like the ones that muscles shut tight to keep the moisture in. Life is not easy at the intertidal zone, where the sunlight pounds for hours, where the salty air swirls, where the waves finally come crashing in.

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