LiMPETS at Pillar Point


Can I just say this was one of the best days I’ve had in a while? Anyone could tellI was having the time of my life out by the waters. If you can tell be what’s better than visiting the tide pools, touching see stars, and getting some underwater footage of anemone on a GoPro on an otherwise gloomy Wednesday, then kudos!


I was as happy as a clam 🙂


Pillar Point, aka the Mavericks, where the surf competition takes place!

Team AP Bio and I (and my French exchange student, Cassandre, that I’m hosting!) headed out to the exposed shores during low tide on a beautiful afternoon. We all immediately starting touching the Giant Green Sea Anemone (or Anenome, as I sometimes mistakenly pronounce it) the moment we came across the rocky surfaces on which they lived.



Our purpose of being out at the tide pools, besides having fun, was to collect biodiversity data for LiMPETS (Long-term Monitoring Program and Experiential Training for Students), a program that runs along California. The purpose of the program is to allow students and other interested individuals learn about national marine sanctuaries and the importance of the preservation of marine wildlife. The data collected by all the groups that volunteer for the LiMPETS program is used to analyze environmental changes and problems.

Some problems species face are ocean acidification and oil spills . Because of excess carbon dioxide and oil from society’s industrialization and urbanization, organisms suffer from the breakdown of calcium carbonate shells, suffocation, and intoxication.

Each group counted the number of species seen in a quadrat along the directing line that Monica, our field guide, assigned us. Some of the species we counted were rockweeds, coralline algae, hermit crabs, turban snails, chitons, and pink acorn barnacles.

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Measuring the biodiversity in our quadrats

After counting in our quadrats, we went on a seastar search! Team AP Bio found FIVE and you KNOW that I went crazy with my camera… I can’t help it these creatures are literally some of the coolest things I could ever see.







The craziest part to me is that the mussels and leaf barnacles, first of all, just are spread out across all of the rocks, and second, that they can withstand the pressure of my weight without being crushed. The waves apply even stronger pressure on those little creatures! We walked all over them and not a single one crushed.


Sea mussels and lead barnacles, which look like dinosaur toes

Deeper into the water where the tide was coming in, there were lots of purple sea urchins and even more anemone. The iridescent kelp laid about and had a rubbery pull to the blades. We lucked out on the octopi though. Monica explained that because octopi don’t attach firmly to a surface or rock, they get washed away by the rough waters that have come lately due to the rain and storms.

Without question, I was vlogging the whole time and my GoPro took a dive underwater and got up close and personal to the Sun and Giant Green Anemone. It was so cool to feel the tentacles grasp my finger and the mouth contract. I don’t take my beautiful home of California for granted, and I LOVE NATURE! All of the biodiversity we have is seriously one of the most amazing gifts we could have and I appreciate it in all of its glory. We can’t harm Mother Earth’s creations!


3 thoughts on “LiMPETS at Pillar Point

  1. Edith Leung

    That field trip looks so fun! I am glad Cassandre got to see the beautiful beaches in California. Maybe they don’t look like that in France. I wish I went on the trip to see the star fish! Maybe Tyler will want to go there one day to see the animals too.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Michelle, I could tell that you were having an amazing time yesterday! It was a beautiful day for exploring. I think our final seastar count was over 10! We will have to check with Natalie and Kyla who were keeping track of the data. We saw everything except the elusive octopus…that is a rare find. So glad you enjoyed the day. It is always a highlight of the year!


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