Tidepool Protection Education and Restoration Program (TPERP) Volunteers

My most meaningful moments at the park has been when I get to help kids learn about the marine life. Their passion and excitement for learning makes me feel excited to spend time volunteering at the park.” – TPERP VIP Madison

In the early 1990s, both the public and scientific community of San Diego began noticing a peculiar problem in our tidepools: our Cabrillo National Monument visitors were loving the tidepool resources to death. A local, five-year research study titled “Baseline Surveys of Rocky Intertidal Ecological Resources at Point Loma, San Diego” conducted by biologists John M. Engle and Gary E. Davis had shown that several of the key species in the rocky intertidal area were facing local extinction. The study highlighted the human impact of trampling, collecting, and disturbing marine life.

Our park saw a great need for a volunteer presence to encourage safe exploration of the tidepools and to take great measures to restore the ecology back to health. On November 6th, 1996 the Tidepool Protection, Education, and Restoration Program (TPERP) was launched. Since then, it has grown to include volunteers of all backgrounds who are committed to preserving and protecting the rocky intertidal zone—and all the inhabitants that depend on its resources—for the enjoyment of this and future generations.

And the proof is in the plankton! Since the program’s inception, our volunteers have directly prevented the local extinction of owl limpets, mussels, thatched barnacles, and goose-necked barnacles! Whether our TPERP volunteers are educating the public, helping answer questions about the tidepools, or directly protecting resources, these volunteers are an integral part of this park and its mission.

A volunteer in a blue shirt and tan cap crouches down with a person and points at something in shallow water along a rocky beach.
A TPERP volunteer shows a tidepool to a visitor.

NPS Photo/P. Geisler

Interested in joining the TPERP volunteer and learning more? To find out more about availability and eligibility, please contact cabr_volunteers@nps.gov for current and upcoming volunteer opportunities.

Last updated: July 8, 2021

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Mailing Address:

1800 Cabrillo Memorial Drive
San Diego, CA 92106


619 523-4285

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