National Park Service

San Francisco Bay Area Network (SFAN)

Rocky Intertidal Monitoring

Point Reyes National Seashore
Point Reyes National Seashore

Monitoring Documents

Parks monitored:

For more information contact: Ben Becker or Darren Fong


Intertidal zone brief

Rocky intertidal habitat monitoring at Point Reyes National Seashore and Golden Gate National Recreation Area resource brief
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The rocky intertidal zone, or the band of rocky shore covered up by the highest of tides and exposed by the lowest of tides, is an extraordinarily diverse and productive ecosystem. More than 1,000 species of invertebrates and algae live in Central California's rocky intertidal areas, and many more fish, birds and mammals rely on rocky intertidal species as a source of food. While rocky intertidal communities can withstand pounding surf and scorching sun, they are also highly sensitive to pollution, oil spills, invasive species and changing air and ocean temperatures.

The National Park Service Inventory and Monitoring Program monitors rocky intertidal communities at five sites in Golden Gate National Recreation Area and Point Reyes National Seashore. Though rocky intertidal monitoring has taken place at some sites since 1989, a new monitoring protocol developed for the Multi-Agency Rocky Intertidal Network (MARINe) was adopted in 2006 to allow results to be directly compared to more than 100 other MARINe sites.

Additional information about rocky intertidal monitoring in SFAN parks can be found on the San Francisco Bay Area National Parks and Learning Center webpage on intertidal ecosystems.

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Last Updated: December 30, 2016 Contact Webmaster