Blue-tinged planet spins
Ocean rise, again to fall
’till the end of all
Regular beachgoers tend to develop an innate idea of what the regular rising and falling of the water level means, lost picnics and towels and a confused sense that something is not where it should be. Organisms that live in the intertidal zone, where they are repeatedly submerged in water only to be exposed to air during the next high tide, have mastered a most extreme environment. Half of their life is spend in a rich soup of plankton and other goodies to eat and for the other half half they are exposed to the drying power of the sun and intense heat or cold. They are subject to immense changes in water conditions as freshwater from land mixes with the saltwater of the ocean. Salinty can go from almost freshwater to saltier than the ocean and temperatures fluctuate widely. It’s a life of instability and fierce competition.
These are also areas that can be most effected by human activity and our desire to see the beauty of the ocean and live a life of modern comforts. Much damage has and continues to be done by altering the intertidal habitats to conform with human needs. Sea walls, jetties, quays, dredge spoil, human traffic, hardscaping, roads, housing developing, light pollution, introduced species, wastes disposal…. the list of threats to these valuable habitats is continuously growing. Considering the challenges intertidal organisms face in their natural environment, how long can they survive the addition of human influence?