Superhero Sighting in White Rock

Photo: Friends of Semiahmoo Bay Society

Check your tide chart, grab your sunscreen and plot a course for the intertidal zone at White Rock Beach. There amongst the hermit crabs, barnacles, periwinkles and sea stars, you’ll spot them. Although they may not be wearing capes and masks, these modern day, aspiring scientists are heroes to me. Each summer, the Friends of Semiahmoo Bay Society Beach Hero Marine Interpreters offer free guided walks at Crescent Beach and White Rock Beach. Under their expert guidance, the small-scale world found under your feet comes to life.

Photo: Rob Weiss

Years ago, I joined a Beach Hero interpretive walk and was properly introduced to life in the intertidal zone. As an avid and enthusiastic beachcomber, I have enjoyed countless hours barefoot in the sand. However, I am embarrassed to admit my knowledge of the critters that call the beach home was limited. Thanks to my guide, I was introduced to a whole new world. A magical world that is covered and uncovered on a daily basis by the high and low tides. A rugged and ever-changing seascape waiting to be explored.

Photo: Rob Weiss

With fresh eyes and a whole new outlook, I gleefully met my aquatic neighbours; midshipman, barnacles, hermit crabs, sea stars, limpets and snails, to name a few. I was astounded! Of course, these fascinating creatures had been there all the time, and now, thanks to my Beach Hero I had been properly introduced.

Photo: Rob Weiss

Ready for the best news of all? We can all be good neighbours! Local marine plants and animals are adapted to withstand natural elements like wind, pounding waves and extreme weather. However, they have not adapted to withstand human contact. Here’s how we can all be heroes when visiting Vancouver’s iconic beaches:

  • Watch Your Step
  • Don’t Rock the Rocks – remember a rock is likely a critter’s home; lift gently
  • Although beautiful shells may be tempting to collect, leave them on the beach. They are habitat for other plants and animals
  • Pack it in and pack it out – leave the beach as you found it

And remember, take only pictures, leave only footprints.

Photo: Rob Weiss

Interested in meeting a bona fide hero?

Visit the Friends of Semiahmoo Bay Society website for up to date information on Guided Beach Hero Walks and Special Community Events.

Getting There:

Both White Rock Beach and Crescent Beach are located on the stunning Semiahmoo Peninsula. Only 45 minutes south of Vancouver, and just a few minutes away from the border with Washington State, both beaches are accessible by transit. Worried about parking? Never fear, hop on and off the FREE Waterfront Shuttle to White Rock’s Marine Drive.

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