San Mateo County’s Fitzgerald Marine Reserve has announced that it will reopen to the community Mon., May 3. Beloved as a marine protected area where people can learn about and observe marine life, the reserve will have enough staff and support to reopen, but is asking visitors to help protect the area by respecting its “tidepool etiquette.”
According to the reserve, its tidepool etiquette includes: watch where you walk and avoid stepping in tidepools and on beds of barnacles, anemones, mussels and other inhabitants of the tidepools; don’t remove any shells, vegetation, rocks or marine life; observe marine life by looking only—don’t touch or handle any marine life; don’t remove sea stars, mussels, limpets and other life off of the rocks; don’t put marine life in containers, even for a few minutes; don’t bring buckets, as they’re not allowed; dogs and other pets are not allowed near the tidepools—they are only permitted on the Dardanelle Trail; loud radios or amplified music near or around the tidepools is not allowed; and don’t disturb marine mammals, such as harbor seals in their rookery. According to the reserve, many marine mammals seek the habitat as a refuge for birthing and raising young. Visitors are asked to stay a minimum of 300 feet from any marine mammal and to stay behind the orange cones.
Visitors are also asked to keep in mind that the reserve is not a recreational beach; as such, toys, food and drinks are not allowed.
The Fitzgerald Marine Reserve is located within the Montara State Marine Reserve at 200 Nevada Ave., Moss Beach, CA. View a video of the reserve here and download a self-guided tour sheet here. Questions? Visit the reserve’s website here.
Photo courtesy of San Mateo County Parks