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Intertidal Zone

Where would you consider the worst place on earth to live? Antarctica? Middle of the Sahara desert? All good answers. But how about the intertidal zone??
Low tide showcasing sea stars at the bottom of the intertidal zone

Just think about it for a second. The intertidal zone is the area between the high and low tide lines so anything that lives in the intertidal zone has to be able to survive both in water and out of water. On top of that, you would have to be able to survive the salt water during high tide and fresh water from rain during low tide. You would also need to manage the extreme heat in the summer sun and below freezing temperatures in the winter months. Any takers?!

As rough as that environment as that may seem, it is an area with an abundance of marine life. Near the top of the intertidal zone you will find barnacles, mussels, snails, and periwinkles; all organisms with a harder outer layer or shell which traps water and helps keep these organisms from drying out since they spend more time out of the water. One favorite find among our guests at the bottom of the intertidal zone are the sea stars. Sea stars, also known as starfish, have a softer shell and would dry out and die if exposed to the sun for too long so they will be found spending most of their time under the water. And throughout the whole zone you will find a variety of seaweed and plant life. One common form of seaweed found along our shorelines and pictured below is known as bladderwrack. All seaweed found in Alaska including bladderwrack is edible any many of our guests enjoy the challenge of eating this type of seaweed during one of our trips.

Sunny Cove intentionally runs all trips along the shoreline as the diversity of life found in the intertidal zone make it a beautiful place to spend your time kayaking.

~ Danny

Intertidal zone along the rocky shores of Alaska