Editorial: The low tide festival

Conservationists often struggle with a dilemma.

They want people to experience the natural wonders of the world, knowing that such direct contact with nature is sometimes the best way to ensure we’ll work to protect it. At the same time, they don’t want us to love a place to death.

The organizers of this year’s Lowtide Celebration — the fourth one on Vashon — have worked hard to find that balance.

If you venture to Point Robinson on Monday, you’ll find a special spot for kids to build sandcastles — a place with plenty of sand but not a lot of marine life.

You’ll find naturalists pointing out the hidden gems of the intertidal zone — from sea stars to sea pens — and asking you to sign a pledge promising to engage in the best of beach behavior.

You’ll learn about the richness of this swath of land — where sea and sand intersect — in the hope that such knowledge will deepen your own commitment to work to protect Vashon’s rugged and increasingly fragile shorelines.

Those who have organized the festival, most of them volunteers working on their own time, are people who love marine life — who are awed by its rich diversity, colorful life forms and intricate, interdependent ecology.

Come to Point Robinson on Monday and experience the wonder for yourself. But do so gently. You’ll be walking on hallowed ground.

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