A Great Beach Ecology Resource: Beachapedia!
Posted by E.G.D. on January 16, 2013
Don’t let the name fool you: Beachapedia is not affiliated with Wikipedia! On the contrary, it is an independent beach ecology resource that is staffed by a group of dedicated writers including “scientists, engineers and activists.”
Prior to this morning, I had never even heard of Beachapedia, which is a terrible shame! In very little time, I learned from the Beachapedia vegetation page that vegetation on beaches falls into three different categories depending on where the plants grow in relation to the tidal area and the dune. The plants in each category display certain patterns of characteristics as a result of their respective locations. While I was at it, I also read an interesting little article on wrack, which The California Coastal Commission defines as “organic material such as kelp and sea grass that is cast up onto the beach by surf, tides, and wind,” and which is important to both plant and animal beach wildlife. That article links to another very good article from the National Science Foundation called “All Washed Up and Somewhere to Go,” which I highly recommend any dedicated beachgoer read.
Now, as you can see, I was looking specifically for “Wild Wednesday” wildlife material for this article, but Beachapedia has information on everything coastal-environment-related from A to W (X,Y, and Z apparently don’t start any beach related topic words). It’s a really useful website, I think, especially if you’re looking to learn about the nuts and bolts of how beaches function. Also, you never know when you might want a clear and very detailed definition of beach related terms like “estuary” or “neap tide.”
It never hurts to take a little time to better understand our beaches! After all, whatever would we beachcombers do without them? Happy beachgoing, everyone- E.G.D.
For more information on beach ecology, you can also visit these other Beach Treasures and Treasure Beaches articles:
And to some degree or another, most Wild Wednesday posts!