Cate Battles, Travel Grants Pass
July 24th, 2019

Negative tides provide a perfect opportunity to explore the natural treasures of Southern Oregon’s coastline. Caves, sea anemone, and brilliantly colored starfish that are usually under several feet of water are only revealed for short periods throughout the year. August 1st and 2nd is your last chance to catch the extreme low tide of 2019 and enjoy this natural phenomenon.

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Take a Day Trip to Samuel Boardmen’s Scenic Corridor in Brookings, Oregon

Along the 12 ocean-hugging miles of Samuel Boardmen’s corridor, you’ll find craggy bluffs, exposed sea caves, sand dunes, cascading waterfalls to the beach, and tide pools full of life…maybe even a few seals! A favorite and lesser known spot to experience the negative tide is aptly called “Secret Beach” and can be found just north of the Natural Bridges Viewpoint. Once you take the short but steep trail down to the beach, you’ll be welcomed by a waterfall and huge rugged rocks jetting up from the water.

More info on Samuel Boardmen Corridor here:

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What Causes a Minus Tide?

High and low tides are caused by the moon’s gravitational pull. The tidal force causes Earth and its water to bulge out on the side closest to the moon and the side farthest from the moon. These bulges of water are high tides; making the other sides experience low tides. When the gravitational pull of the sun and moon are combined, you get more extreme high and low tides, which usually happens during a new or full moon.

Low Tide Tips and Etiquette

How low can you go? It’s always best to check out the beach while the tide is going out, ensuring you plenty of time to explore and return before the high tide. The tides vary slightly from town to town, so make sure you download a tide chart for the area.

Respect the tidal pools. There are several fascinating creatures that live in tide pools, including purple sea urchins, green anemone, orange sea stars, prehistoric-looking chitons, barnacles, and little red-clawed crabs. You can touch them gently with your finger, but do not poke, walk on, or pick them up, especially the starfish that are recovering from a wasting disease that killed off 90% of its population. Intertidal creatures can easily die if they’re disrupted or removed from their environment.

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Dress appropriately. The extreme low tides have occurred this summer in the early morning so the ocean air can be chilly. Be prepared to get your feet wet and wear proper shoes for scaling down rocks.

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and as always..... “Never turn your back on the ocean”.