This Saturday, I had the pleasure of driving a group of the California Academy of Science's teen interns to beautiful Pillar Point in Half Moon Bay to go on a marine life collection expedition. The purpose of the trip was to work with a group of teens from the environmental nonprofit Nature Bridge to refresh their education lab collections with living specimens that they use for teaching and research. Nature Bridge exposes tens of thousands of young people to environmental science in fun, hands-on activities.
This was my second scientific trip to Pillar Point, a spectacular tidal area just 40 minutes from downtown San Francisco. It's a perfect spot for getting an up-close view of California marine biodiversity.
This trip was particularly special because we were actually taking live animals and plants from the tide pools. This is actually normally illegal, but we had a special permit since it was being done for scientific research and education purposes. Sadly, there were lots of other people there with their buckets and bags collecting their own "specimens," but that's a whole other story.
It was a wonderful day with the teens exploring, learning, and collecting awesome and diverse marine life. I highly recommend the trip to anyone near Pillar Point. But please don't take anything out of the water to bring home with you! We need to protect and preserve our precious coastal biomes.