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Tidepool Interpretive Programs

As a result of a generous donation by Montage Resort & Spa in April 2006, Laguna Ocean Foundation created one full-time position and several part-time positions to provide interpretive education at the Treasure Island tidepools. The program has been very effective and patrons and visitors from around the world have walked away with a fuller understanding of the rocky intertidal environment. The Educators provide on-site resource interpretation and love to share their knowledge and joy of the local ecosystem, flora and fauna. Educators are at the tidepools year around when the tide is below 2.5 feet and the weather is enjoyable. 5

Tidepool Educators keep record of how many individuals visit the area, how many visitors we contact, the number of incidents observed that are inconsistent with the MPA regulations, and the weather and sea conditions. On average Educators spend 156 hours a month at Treasure Island and we see an average of 28 individuals per hour.

Professional Tidepool EDUCATOR Program at Heisler Park State Marine Reserve
In June 2009, LagunaOcean Foundation received the Whale Tail Grant from the California Coastal Commission in order to launch a new professional tidepool education program at Heisler Park State Marine Reserve. The program is modelled after the Treasure program where Educators provide on-site resource interpretation to visitors. Educators are at the tidepools on weekends year around when the tide is below 2.5 feet and the weather is enjoyable.


Our TideWater Docents continues to educate the beach going public about the life and natural processes occurring in the tidal habitats of Laguna Beach. Trained docents work in close coordination with the Laguna Beach Department of Marine Safety and Laguna’s very own Marine Protection Officer. The volunteer docents have the option to work at Crescent Bay, Shaw’s Cove, Heisler Park, Wood’s Cove, Goff Island, and Treasure Island throughout the year during periods when the intertidal zone is most vulnerable. TideWater Docent training classes are held throughout the year and if you are interested in the program please see below.

This is an invitation to join the TideWater Docent Program Main Beach Educational Programsponsored by Laguna Ocean Foundation. The tide pools of Laguna Beach need protection and trained volunteers are needed to help educate the millions of uninformed locals and guests that visit our coastline. Created in April 2003 the program has trained over 200 volunteers and is actively seeking enthusiastic participants to help with our mission to educate the public concerning the value of the intertidal ecosystem.

To qualify as a TideWater Docent, volunteers must attend one formal training session. The date of the next formal training session is located in the “News and Events” section of the homepage. Click here to view this section. The initial two hour training session is held at the Ocean Institute in Dana Point and provides background information concerning the resource and logistics concerning the program. Following the formal training potential docents will have on-site training at the tidepools conducted by the Docent coordinator. All classes and training are conducted by professional marine biologists and by the Marine Protection Officer for the City of Laguna Beach.

After completion of the required trainings, new docents receive an LOF badge and a TideWater Docent t-shirt, and they are ready to sign up for docent shifts. Docents are encouraged to volunteer once a month, for a three-hour shift at one of the tidepool areas listed above.

To sign up to become a TideWater Docent contact Letty Skeen via email at LagunaOceanFoundation@gmail.com.

New Tidepool Docent/Educator Training Manual available for download here. (PDF -- 2MB)