About the Park

Moss Beach, Ca – Marine Reserve

Science Spotlight: Giant Green Anemones

Fitzgerald Marine Reserve is host to hundreds of species of animals and algae – making the reserve’s tidepools some of the most species-diverse and accessible tidepools in the state.

In the midst of this amazing diversity, one tidepool creature is especially eye-grabbing: the giant green anemone. When fully outstretched, they look like beautiful sea flowers basking in the sunlight. Even when closed they are fun to look at, as they resemble olive-colored, slimy donuts.

The giant green anemone’s captivating exterior actually represents the symbiotic relationship between two organisms: the anemone itself and algae. The algae gain the benefits of a shelter from predators, whereas the anemone gains some extra food and oxygen produced by the algae. Sounds like a good deal to me.

Fitzgerald 3

Sunburst anemone at Fitzgerald Marine Reserve

Park History

From as early as 1911, scientists and naturalists have been visiting these tidepools to witness the amazing diversity of invertebrates/vertebrates. As collections from visits began to deplete the natural resource, the county of San Mateo proposed that the area be acquired by the state for protection. The reserve is now protected under the Marine Resources Protection Act of 1990.

Visit the Park

Please note that there is no entrance fee to enter the park. Dogs are not allowed within the park.

Before hiking, be sure to check the tidal chart for the area. The tide pools are best when viewed at a tide of 1′ or less. Plan your trip around these times. During your visit, please be sure to respect the area and its future patrons. Do not harm any wildlife or remove any artifacts during your visit.

Here are some helpful resources to plan your visit:

Gallery

 

Posted by Taylor Crisologo

Taylor studied biology at Cornell University, where she worked with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology on projects ranging from breeding herring gulls off the coast of Maine to dancing lyrebirds in Australia’s Blue Mountains. When she’s not researching great places to experience Bay Area nature, you can find her birding or reading a book at home with her fiancé Dan and their two cats (Max and Penelope).

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