Fitzgerald Marine Reserve

When it comes to words this post will be brief, as with a place like the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve pictures tell the story best. My wife and I spent a few hours there on a cool, overcast March afternoon, which was our first visit. I’m originally from the east coast, and when telling folks back in Maryland about our time at FMR, across the board I discovered tide pooling was not a familiar activity. Tidepools are small bodies of seawater contained in rock or reef structures, deep indentations along sandy shorelines, or in other natural basins. At high tide, these substrates are submerged, however at low tide they are often completely exposed, to reveal the myriad homes they provide for a wide array and abundance of marine life, mostly invertebrates. Situated between San Francisco and Santa Cruz, CA, FMR is regarded as one of the finest places on the west coast of the United States to explore this type of fragile marine environment up close. It’s also readily accessible from Highway 1, and there’s even a ranger station on site—staffed during our visit, at least—with people able to answer any questions one might have about the reserve and its inhabitants. If you do make plans to visit FMR just be sure to check the tide tables. Low tide is your best time, if not your only time, and the lower the tide the better. As an erstwhile marine biologist, I’ve had this place on my list for years. My only regret is not coming this way as soon as the first thought crossed my mind.

Photos taken March 4, 2019

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