Beachcombing tours bring people out of their shell

Attention: open in a new window. PrintE-mail

Isaiah Rosario, 5, holds up a shell that he found on a guided beachcombing tour in Sea Isle City. Isaiah Rosario, 5, holds up a shell that he found on a guided beachcombing tour in Sea Isle City.  You never know what might turn up on the beach – a lost ring, a piece of sea glass, or a natural treasure such as a starfish.

At Sea Isle City’s beachcombing tours, participants can collect and take home souvenirs of the area’s ecosystem.

The tours are now entering their 23rd season and are sponsored by the Sea Isle City Environmental Commission. They run 10-11 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays through Aug. 28, Tuesdays at 29th Street and the Promenade, and Thursdays at the 94th Street beach. The beachcombing tour costs $1, a tradition that dates to its inception.

Before going off to search the beach for shells, plants, exoskeletons and other natural treasures, beachcombers learn about the various types of plant and animal life that can be found at the beach. Volunteer tour guides, working with groups of about 25 children and adults, provide information on everything from starfish to seagulls.

The hands-on lesson, according to organizers and the adult participants, is the most rewarding aspect.

“The kids love it,” said Eleanor Moore, who coordinates the tours. “It teaches them things that sometimes the parents don’t know – like not to play in the dunes.”

Beachcombing tours seem to appeal to both children and adults’ natural curiosity and sense of adventure.

Isaiah Rosario, 5, of Harrisburg, Pa., took the tour July 24. When he found a clam shell, he excitedly ran it over to show Susan Dalton, one of the tour guides.

Samantha Stauldein, 4, of Philadelphia also proudly showed off pieces of shells she had found to her parents and to Dalton.

"It's really satisfying for us as guides to see how excited the children get when they find a shell or some other item they just learned about," Moore said.

Moore has been the coordinator of the tours for the past seven years. She began as a volunteer in 2000.

The tours can attract as many as 150 people at a time, who are then divided into groups of about 25. People of any ages are welcome.

Tours go out on Tuesday and Thursday as long as the weather permits. For more information or to check on whether a tour has been canceled call 609-263-9643.

Photos by Christie Rotondo

 

Isaiah Rosario, 5, wades into the surf to see what he can find. Isaiah Rosario, 5, wades into the surf to see what he can find.

Samantha Stauldein, 4, runs to show tour guides what she found. Samantha Stauldein, 4, runs to show tour guides what she found.

Adults and children on the tour listen to a guide talk about types of shells that can be found on the beach. Adults and children on the tour listen to a guide talk about types of shells that can be found on the beach.

Tour guide Susan Dalton examines Samantha Stauldein’s find. Tour guide Susan Dalton examines Samantha Stauldein’s find.


blog comments powered by Disqus