This project is part of the Tidepools week for Crystal Cove State Park’s Virtual Jr. Ranger Program! Click here to learn more about tidepools! 

Tidepools play an important role on California’s Coast as they provide food and shelter to a diverse group of animals, plants, and seaweeds. As our climate changes tidepools and the organisms living within them are being affected. In an effort to document the biodiversity in our tidepools and the health of the ecosystem, Crystal Cove State Park has joined Snapshot Cal Coast, a campaign to observe and document organisms within Marine Protected Areas along the coast of California.

How You Can Help!

Now we need your help! You can help us observe and document intertidal organisms by taking photos within Crystal Cove State Park’s Marine Protected Area and uploading them to iNaturalist.

Step 1: Learn about Crystal Cove’s tidepools and practice identifying intertidal organisms

Start by watching and listening to the Crystal Cove’s Tidepools slideshow with Holly on Voicethread, which will introduce you to the project. 

Then, see if you can use our Tidepool Field Guide to identify the animals and algae in the photos within the Voicethread.

Step 2: Introduction to iNaturalist and Making Observations

Afterwards, consider joining us and documenting species for Snapshot Cal Coast through the use of iNatuarlist. Start by watching and listening to the Getting Started with iNaturalist slideshow with Erick on Voicethread, which will introduce you to how to get started on making observations with iNaturalist.

Please visit the California Academy of Sciences’ website to learn more about Snapshot Cal Coast.

To see contributions made to Crystal Cove’s monitoring project during Snapshot Cal Coast, please visit our iNaturalist project.

Thank you for your help!  If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact us by emailing

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