If you’ve lived in Monterey County for a long time, you might have grown to appreciate the rugged beauty of a rocky shore as opposed to man-made white sand beaches with nonnative palm trees (looking at you, Florida). The craggy edges contain fascinating tiny worlds nestled between rocky coast and sandy shore. Places like McAbee Beach in Monterey or Asilomar State Beach in Pacific Grove are worthy of hours of exploration. Tidepooling makes you pay attention to not only where you place your feet – as to not crush anything alive – but it also makes you aware of incredible biodiversity. In deep, still pools, look for crabs and alien-looking anemones. On a dry perch of jutting granite, you might find the unspined remains of a sea urchin. Or just watch the surfgrass sway in a mesmerizing motion. There is indeed a right way to go about tidepooling: The Monterey Bay Aquarium has an etiquette guide to exploring these natural wonders without harming them, at montereybayaquarium.org/stories/tide-pooling-tips

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