Located only 15 minutes north of Half Moon Bay in Moss Beach, California, is Fitzgerald Marine Reserve. This three mile stretch of Northern California Coastline is known by scientists as one of the most bio-diverse intertidal regions in the state and is home to dozens of colorful, unique sea creatures. If you visit the reserve at low tide (one foot or less), you’ll be able to see a multitude of sea-life. The reserve hosts a living community of seaweed, crabs, sea-stars, octopus, sponges, mollusks, fish, and even harbor seals.
The tide-pools have been in important resource for hundreds of years. Over 200 years ago, the Ohlone tribe harvested shellfish from this intertidal zone and cooked them on open hearths on the bluff. Its important for visitors to remember that the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve is a protected area and visitors must abide by the “good tidepooler rules of conduct.” This means no touching, collecting, removing, feeding or disturbing any marine life, and no walking through tide pools. At times the reserve can have as many as 1,000 people visiting the park and these “tidepooler rules” help protect the park for visitors to continue enjoying for many years to come. The reserve opens at 8am and currently closes at 7:00pm. The closing times for the park vary throughout the year. For a list of current and upcoming park closing times please see here.