About James V. Fitzgerald Marine Reserve:
If you're looking for some of the best tide pooling on the California coast, Fitzgerald Marine Reserve is the place to find it. With lots of craggy rocks just below the surface, it's almost like a giant aquarium at low tide.
Tide pools are the big thing here, but there's also a small sandy beach to play on.
James V. Fitzgerald Marine Reserve Fees:
Entrance Fee: None
Parking Fee: None
Creature Comforts at James V. Fitzgerald Marine Reserve:
- Picnic tables
- Dogs are NOT allowed, to protect the sea creatures
- No smoking
James V. Fitzgerald Marine Reserve Tide Pool Etiquette:
- Walk carefully to avoid stepping on the barnacles, anemones, mussels and other tide pool critters.
- Take only pictures. Shells and rocks are a natural part of the intertidal ecology and provide homes for hermit crabs.
- If you move rocks and shells, put them back. Creatures living on them will die when exposed to the sun and air.
- Leave shelled creatures stuck to the rocks to keep the seagulls from killing them.
- Resist the urge to put things in containers for a closer look, even for a few minutes. It can kill them.
- If harbor seals are around, stay at least 300 feet away from them.
Best Time to Visit James V. Fitzgerald Marine Reserve:
May and June generally have the best (lowest) tides and they stay low longer. Check a tide table before you go to be sure you get there at the right time of day. Tides are measured in feet: 2.0 means the water is 2 feet above sea level. Go when tide is less than 1.5 (minus tides are even better). Tide pools will be exposed about 2 hours before and 1.5 hours after low tide.
Rocks are slippery and have sharp edges. Wear good shoes that protect your feet and have sturdy soles.