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Reach for the Stars in Lincoln City
Published: 03/20/2017  Updated: 05/12/2017
 

Local experts lead the hunt for sea stars during Lincoln City's Tidepool Clinics, a fun and educational way to explore Lincoln City's rocky shores.

The Lincoln City Visitor and Convention Bureau in partnership with Oregon Shores Conservation Coalition (aka CoastWatch) offer a series of Tidepool Clinics. The first clinic is set for Saturday, April 1, at 10:30am. Participants should plan on arriving 15 minutes early and be prepared for Oregon Coast weather.

Clinic leader Fawn Custer, of CoastWatch, is excited to share her knowledge and expertise of marine conservation. With the recent resurgence of sea star populations, Custer expects visitors to see a few this spring. "Since 2013, we have seen a slow and steady increase in the populations. We would love to have participants help us count and measure them at the clinics."

Custer brings 25-plus years of teaching experience to this year's Tide Pool Clinics. As the Volunteer Coordinator for CoastWatch, she has worked with over 1,300 volunteers along the Oregon Coast to educate students about marine science in the region. Assisting Custer with the Tide Pool Clinics is Athena Crichton, from the Oregon State University Hatfield Marine Science Center. Educated at the University of Hawaii at Hilo and Oregon State University, Crichton has spent the last 16 years teaching courses at the Hatfield Marine Science Center. She also teaches marine education at the Oregon Coast Aquarium.

When the tide gradually recedes along the beach, exposed rocks reveal small pools of water where colorful, exotic creatures reside. Sea stars live side by side with sea anemones and sea urchins, creating a cornucopia of colors that surrounds Oregon's rocky shores. These are just a few of the coastal marine creatures that visitors can discover and learn about at the Tidepool Clinics.

Clinics are held at the NW 15th Street beach access in Lincoln City, one of the most accessible locations for tide pooling on the Oregon Coast. Clinics begin with a brief orientation from Custer and Crichton, where they will describe local marine habitat and the types of creatures' participants may discover. They will then take attendees on a guided tide pool tour. Clinics last for approximately one hour and participants are encouraged to ask questions and provide feedback.

Clinics last for approximately one hour, are free and are open to the public. Parking is available along 15th street and at the Seagull Beachfront Motel parking lot.

What To Bring
In addition to bringing your curiosity and questions, dress in layers for Oregon Coast weather and plan on bringing waterproof footwear and a rain jacket.

Beach Safety
Excursions on the Oregon Coast can get wet and slippery. Weather and ocean conditions can be unpredictable; practice caution at all times. This means never turning your back on the ocean, being wary of beach debris including logs and keeping children and pets near you at all times.

2017 Tidepool Clinic Dates
Participants should plan on arriving 15 minutes early.

Saturday, April 1 at 10:30am
Sunday, April 2 at 11:30am
Saturday, April 29 at 9am
Sunday, April 30 at 10am
Tuesday, May 2 at noon
Saturday, May 13 at 8:30am
Sunday, May 14 at 9:30am
Monday, May 29 at 10am
Sunday, June 11 at 8:30am
Tuesday, June 13 at 10am

For more information on the Tidepool Clinics, call (800) 452-2151 or visit www.oregoncoast.org/tide-pool-clinics/.

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