Crawl around with the critters that come out at low tide at Sunday festival on Vashon Island

Photo of people on the beach near Pt. Robinson at the 2012 Vashon-Maury Island Low Tide Celebration
Visitors enjoy a sunny day at the 2012 Vashon-Maury Island Low Tide Celebration.
Photo: Michael Grilliot

As the caretaker for state-owned intertidal lands, DNR spends every day looking at its critters and vegetation. For the last decade, though, we have also helped celebrate the things that feed and breathe when tides recede with the community of Vashon-Maury Island.

That time comes again this Sunday, Aug. 2, when the Vashon-Maury Island Low Tide Celebration takes over Point Robinson Park from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) designated Maury Island as an Aquatic Reserve in 2000. The site is known for its significant habitat diversity, including eelgrass beds, Pacific herring spawning habitat, Chinook salmon and bull trout migratory corridors. There are few other places within this region that compare to Maury Island.

Along with the celebration of the tide, the day’s activities will feature a party to celebrate the 100th birthday of the Point Robinson Lighthouse and the 225th anniversary of the U.S. Coast Guard, which still owns the lighthouse.

This free event offers opportunities to:

  • Tour beach and tide flats with the Vashon Beach Naturalists
  • Tour the Pt. Robinson Lighthouse
  • Enjoy flora, fauna and cultural displays
  • Learn about traditional native uses of shoreline resources with Odin Lonning – traditional Tlingit artist and cultural educator

In addition, many conservation groups will be on hand.

Turkish towel is one of the many species exposed by low tides that can be spotted at this weekend’s Vashon-Maury Island Low Tide Festival. DNR Photo

Lowest water level will be around 1 p.m., so be there to commune with , hairy chitons, tukish towels and frilled dog whelk that will be exposed.

A shuttle bus will run along Point Robinson Road to transport people between their parked cars and the festivities. Refreshments, native crafts and Low Tide T-shirts will also be available for sale. To get to Vashon by ferry, take either the Fauntleroy – Vashon Island or the Point Defiance – Talequah ferries.

DNR’s Aquatic Reserve Program will have a booth at the event presenting recent and on-going studies happening on Maury Island Aquatic Reserve, as well as discussing the Mooring Buoy project happening in Quartermaster Harbor.

The Vashon-Maury Island Low Tide Celebration is sponsored by: Vashon Beach Naturalists, Washington State Department of Natural Resources, Vashon Hydrophone Project, Washington Scuba Alliance, Vashon Park District, Vashon-Maury Island Audubon Society, Vashon-Maury Island Land Trust, King County, Vashon College and Keepers of Point Robinson.