I learned a great deal of knowledge about the rocky intertidal zone ecosystems last semester when I took a Principals of Ecology and went on my first trip to Santa Rosa island. I never knew these ecosystems existed before I took the class and I have been going to the beach for most of my life. A couple month after the semester ended I went to the small Lechuza beach in Malibu and I started to notice some of the species found in the southern California rocky intertidal zone ecosystem. I was shocked the amount of biodiversity I found at this beach, especially being at a public beach. Some of the species I found at Lechuza beach were tegula funebralis, California mussels, aggregating anemone, and I swear I also so a giant green anemone. This was the first time I was able to apply what I have learned at Channel Islands to my personal life. The rest of the time at this beach was spent searching for any other species I could recognize, unfortunately I was able to find any other recognizable specie. Even though I did find a large amount of biodiversity in a southern California rocky intertidal zone the large presence of California mussels and the absence of starfish the ecosystem is still not in great shape.
Another reason why I really enjoy this beach is due to the fact that I was able to share this knowledge and excitement of the rocky intertidal zone to the younger generation. The moment I saw the species richness of the ecological community for this beach I immediately wanted to share it with someone, I love any opportunity I get to share what I learn in class to any of my friends or family. Luckily one of my fiancés close friends had two kids, this was an opportunity to show them another side to the southern California beaches that most people never get to experience in their lifetime. When we all went back to Lechuza beach and I was able to finally show them the excitement the rocky intertidal zone offers it felt great being able to pass on the knowledge I gained from Channel Islands. While I was showing this two kids the different species of the tidal zone they were full of excitement, it was a great feeling seeing other people getting excited about the same things that excites me. It was especially fun watching the kids touch the sea anomones for the first time. The had the same reaction I had when I touched them for the first time. The time I spent at Lechuza beach showed me how much I love learning about marine ecosystems and how much I love passing on the knowledge I gain on marine ecosystems. Being able to present the ocean from a different lens to kids and seeing the excitement of the kids while I explained everything to them gives me hope that I made a small difference in their lives. Hopefully this sparked something in them that shows them how important the ocean and all the biodiversity found in the ocean to us and the planet.