Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Learn More About Provincetown's Remarkable Natural World

Learn about the tidal flats surrounding the West End breakwater.
Outdoor activities (like walking out on the breakwater in the West End) can lead us to discover a number of plaques that can give us insight and all kinds of information about the area around us. The Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies and the National Park Service have each provided a number of these educational displays throughout Provincetown and the surrounding area, and these can can give visitors a look into a great many things that are easily spotted on the surface, as well as the unseen workings of the natural world around us.
When the tide goes out, acres of sand are exposed on either side of the breakwater. Twice a day, as the water recedes, the tidal flats become visible, attracting many people who will go out exploring, walking between tidal pools looking for shells and other treasures. These beachcombers will come across birds, mollusks, hermit crabs and many other creatures they they may know little about.
This plaque, found near the head of the breakwater in the Far West End of Provincetown, teaches us about several species of shore birds commonly seen on the tidal flats, as well as other animal life that can be found here at low tide, and also about microscopic life in the sand and the water, keeping this fragile ecosystem healthy. Read these plaques as you find them along the shoreline, at the Provincelands Visitor Center, and at the head of MacMillan Pier, and learn more about the workings of the amazing natural world in this beautiful jewel we call Provincetown.
We are grateful to the Provincetown Inn for restoring this plaque after many seasons of exposure to the elements had damaged it beyond readability. Now we can once again learn about the incredible variety of creatures inhabiting the area, in the sky, in the water, on the sand, and even below the surface of these remarkable tidal flats.

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