Tidal Touch Zone
Did you know? When a sea urchin “hugs” your finger if you gently touch its spines, it’s actually checking you out: Are you food or predator?
If you’re neither, the animal will just gradually release you.
Our Tidal Touch Zone is open for touching daily.
Touch low tide
Explore a new world
with one gentle finger.
The softness of a sea star, dusky pink. The hard shell of an orange crab. The spikiness of a purple urchin. Explore a beautiful tidal world.
What's on the wall?
Art meets science
Imagination meets science on the touch zone walls. On one, a shimmering watercolor mural of Puget Sound low tide by Tacoma artist Maria Jost. On the other, a giant map connects us to the ocean.Read the story
Meet our animals
Purple sea urchin
Giant plumose anemone
Sea star arms race
A slow-motion battle
Don't be fooled by the slow speed - sea stars move on thousands of "feet" to catch prey.
The video above was sped up 60 times to show how two of our sea stars battled for a clam!
Protect our Sound
It takes everyone.
THE THREAT: Animals in Puget Sound face many human-caused threats, like pollution and overfishing. Chemicals and plastic wash down from our streets.
TAKE ACTION: The solution is in our hands. Reduce single-use plastic and find sustainable fish on the Seafood Watch app. And learn more on one of our Explore the Shore beach walks!
Like our Tidal Touch Zone? Then keep wandering down to Baja Bay, just around the corner.