Crystal Cove State Marine Conservation Area

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Crystal Cove State Marine Conservation Area & Tidepool Exploration Information

Big Corona and the southern coves of the Crystal Cove State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA) are considered a Marine Protected Area. There is ABSOLUTELY NO COLLECTING of animals, shells or rocks from the tidepools. MPAC coverclick OCMPA for complete guidelines or visit for more information.

Marine Protection Programs

Marine Protection and Education Supervisor
Michelle Clemente
(949) 644-3036

(949) 644-3038


Tidepool Exploration

Monthly Beach Cleanups

Costal Cleanup Day

Monthly Tidepool Hikes

Tidepool Interpretive

Orange County Natural History Lecture Series

Back Bay Science Center Community Days

Mountain Sea Adventure Camps


Programs and activities are weather and tide dependent. Conditions vary daily. Click here for tides and weather conditions.  

Low Tide   High Tide
Little Corona Beach   Low Tide

Little Corona Beach    High Tide

Same Beach, Different Tides

Make sure you check the tides before you head out to explore. Conditions vary from day to day. Both of the photos to the left were taken mid afternoon.

Tidepooling in the afternoon of the top photo may lead to some excellent discoveries and very cool creatures. Tidepooling on the afternoon of the bottom photo will most likely lead to a wet (and possible dangerous) trip with very little to see. Check tides in the newspaper or use the tide chart on this website. Remember, the lower the tide, the better!