Minus tides make for great beachcombing


Marine Park

Kieran O'Reilly, left, from Bend, Oregon and Lucy Kanov, right, of Bellingham, look through the sand at low tide at Marine Park, Monday, March 25, 2014 at Marine Park in Bellingham. "We deduced to show off the scenery of Bellingham for our friends who are visiting," Lucy's mom, Jennifer Cassie said right after Kieran said "Mom can I sit in the sand?"


Minus tides this weekend are among the lowest this summer, offering a chance to see the clams, anemones and sea stars that inhabit parts of the shoreline that beachcombers get to see only occasionally.

Tides of minus two feet or more occur in Bellingham Bay and surrounding Salish Sea waters about midday for several days starting Thursday, June12, when the ebb is -2.2 feet at 11:09 a.m. There's an ebb of -2.9 feet at 12:36 p.m. on Saturday, June 14.

Budding young naturalists are encouraged to explore the beaches at low tide, but should be careful about disturbing the fragile ecosystem. Instead of lifting a rock, for example, gently tip it over to see what's underneath.

Good places to explore are the shoreline at Semiahmoo Spit near Blaine, Birch Bay State Park, and Point Whitehorn. Larrabee State Park boasts a rocky shoreline with traditional tide pools, and Marine Park offers a fascinating collection of intertidal life.

To find the times and heights of tides locally, go to protides.com and select a location.

Reach Robert Mittendorf at 360-756-2805 or robert.mittendorf@bellinghamherald.com.

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