Rhode Island Monthly Summer Guide 2014 : Page 10

Visit one of these locations to search for sea creatures. By Kelsey Quinn TIDE POOL TREASURES This page: A tide pool at Beavertail State Park in Jamestown. WHAT TO LOOK FOR Northern Rock Barnacles This crustacean makes its own cement to anchor itself to rocks or boats where it will remain for its life. Isopods These tiny crustaceans are lat-bodied with eight legs resembling pill bugs. Look close enough and you’ll probably spot them loating. Periwinkle Snails Don’t let this snail’s tiny size fool you. Their strong foot anchors them in place as waves pummel overhead. Sea Star The rumor’s true. Sea stars can regener-ate lost appendages as long as one-ifth of their body remains. Look carefully in deeper tide pools to spot this camoulaged creature. Asian Shore Crab Their big claws are all for show. These rather passive little guys are easy to catch as they’re found in high densities despite being non-indigenous. Sea Urchins These spiny critters use their tube feet to creep along the sea loor. Check under rocks in more southern parts of the state for your best bet at glimpsing these rare invertebrates. Rhode Island’s vast coast makes it the perfect place to spend an afternoon searching tide pools for creepy-crawly creatures. During low tide, rocky shores reveal mystical worlds of tiny snails, sea urchins and crabs all thriving in pockets of water held by convergent rocks. University of Rhode Island professor of marine invertebrates Niels Hobbs suggests venturing out during low tides, especially during full or new moons to see the most intertidal activity. “So few of these things will hurt you at all,” Hobbs says. So grab a bucket and head out for a day of environmentally friendly fun. WHERE TO LOOK For the beginner: Brenton Point State Park. Ocean Drive, Newport, 847 2400, riparks.com. Located on the grounds of what previously housed one of Newport’s most elegant estates, this park is now home to picnicking, hiking and ishing spots highlight-ing beautiful scenery where the Narragansett Bay meets the great Atlantic. The calm, open ocean and rocky shore makes this a safe place for young emerging scientists to explore. For the adventurous: Black Point Fishing Area. O Ocean Road, just north of Scarbor-ough State Beach, Narragansett. A little bush-whacking along this ishermen’s path leads to the rocky shore and a commanding ocean view. At the fork in the trail, a left turn directs you to rocky ocean terrain promising tide pools while the right diverts to the shore pass-ing along tall beach grass, bushes and the aged remains of a stone carriage house. The trail ends at Scarborough State Beach. For the advanced: Beavertail State Park. Beavertail Road, Jamestown, 4239941, riparks.com. A quick trip over the Jamestown Verrazzano Bridge reveals this expansive state park with miles of hiking trails and some of the best saltwater ishing around. The park offers programs like “Marine Biology Tidal Excursion.” Traversing the park’s vast rocky coast is best left to the nimble, but don’t let that discourage you from checking out Hobbs’s personal favorite tide pool site. 10 RHODE ISLAND MONTHLY l SUMMER GUIDE 2014

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