Laguna Ocean Foundation’s tidepool education program
Gerald Winkel is an avid local diver and has conducted over 350 dives in California alone and is part of REEF’s West Coast Advanced Assessment Team. Besides REEF, he is an active volunteer for Reef Check, Disabled Veterans Scuba Project, Diveheart, Laguna Ocean Foundation and the Catalina Marine Society and assists local universities in data collection.
Gerald will be discussing the Laguna Ocean Foundation who trains and deploys docents at Laguna Beach tide pools. While it’s not technically dive-related, it’s a great opportunity to learn more about the inter-tidal environment in places we all frequently dive.
The rocky intertidal is the portion of a rocky coastline that is periodically covered or exposed by daily tidal changes. This interface is a complex environment where species are well adapted to the changing habitat conditions. Conditions are more terrestrial higher in the intertidal and correspondingly more marine in the lower intertidal area, depending on the amount of exposure the area receives. This range of environmental conditions influences the species that are able to adapt to changing habitat variables and these environmental conditions are in part responsible for the unique zones within the intertidal that are highly visible by the dominant species that occur in each area or “zone.”
The Foundation is actively involved in coastal resource management through all of our activities and programs. Our initial program, the TideWater Docent program, has trained over 200 volunteers to provide interpretive education at local intertidal areas. Other programs and accomplishments include the Tidepool Education Program at Treasure Island, the Whale Tail Tidepool Education Program at Heisler Park, initiating the 2008 Shorebird Monitoring Program, publishing the results of the High School Rocky Intertidal Assessment Program, conducting an Environmental Impact Report training and workshop, collaborating with the Orange County Marine Protected Area Council to provide an enforcement training for local officers, conducting a teacher development workshop, and the adoption of two city ordinances written by LOF members to continue to aid in the protection of our local resources.