Tide pools of Duxbury Reef

David Briggs

Low tides, chill swell and warmish weekend weather along with the allure of catching a glimpse of sea urchins, giant anemones, and rainbow colored nudibranchs (the slug of the sea), brought a handful of people to the typically inaccessible tidepools in the outer reaches of Duxbury Reef on Saturday. One creature noticeably absent on the hike, which was hosted by the Point Reyes National Seashore Association Field Institute, were starfish, who have been succumbing rapidly to Sea Star Wasting Disease. “Anecdotal observations on many Point Reyes beaches suggest dramatic declines and even complete disappearance of adult sea stars in some locations,” said Point Reyes National Seashore scientist Ben Becker.