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Originally published Thursday, May 14, 2009 at 12:00 AM

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Explore the wonderful world of low tide

Seattle Aquarium naturalists lead low-tide walks to learn about tideland creatures.

Seattle Times staff

Visit the underwater world of sea stars, barnacles, octopus and moon snails revealed on low-tide days at beaches around Puget Sound this summer.

Seattle Aquarium beach-naturalist volunteers share knowledge on sea life for all ages, uncovering elusive creatures hiding under rocks and in tide pools for visitors to see without harming their habitat.

Most Puget Sound beaches are rocky and slippery at low tide, with seaweed and tide pools that make a home for the creatures whose life is usually underwater. But the same factors make it a bit difficult for human visitors to navigate; wear appropriate footwear and tread carefully.

On low-tide days from May to July, beach naturalists visit Carkeek Park, Golden Gardens, South Alki and Lincoln Park in Seattle; Richmond Beach in Shoreline; Seahurst Park in Burien, and Des Moines Beach Park in Des Moines. The schedule at those beaches for coming months:

• 10 a.m.-1 p.m. May 23;

• 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m. May 24;

• 10 a.m.-2 p.m. May 25;

• 10 a.m.-1 p.m. June 6;

• 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m. June 7;

• 9 a.m.-noon, "Morning with Moon Snails," June 20;

• 10 a.m.-1 p.m. June 21;

• 10 a.m.-1 p.m., June 22 (lowest tide of period);

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• 10 a.m.-2 p.m., June 23 (lowest tide of period);

• 10 a.m.-1 p.m. July 5;

• 9-11 a.m. July 19;

• 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. July 20;

• 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m. July 21.

Beach-naturalist programs also visit Olympic Sculpture Park on the Seattle waterfront at these times:

• 10 a.m.-1 p.m. May 23;

• 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m. May 24;

• 10 a.m.-2 p.m. May 25;

• 10 a.m.-1 p.m. June 21-22, lowest tides;

• 10 a.m.-1 p.m. July 5;

• 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m. July 21.

Beach-naturalist programs come to Redondo Beach, at Highline Community College Marine Science and Technology (MaST) Center (28203 Redondo Beach Drive S., Des Moines), at these times:

• 10 a.m.-1 p.m. May 23;

• 10 a.m.-1 p.m. June 21;

• 10 a.m.-1 p.m. June 22;

• 10 a.m.-2 p.m. June 23;

• 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m. July 21.

All events are free and drop-in, no reservations required. For more information and directions to locations, see www.seattleaquarium.org or call 206-386-4300.

Madeline McKenzie: 206-464-8245 or mmckenzie@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company

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