Rainbow at Haystack Rock

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Photo Courtesy of Tiffany Boothe, Seaside Aquarium

Green Sea Anemone

Anthopleura xanthogrammica


As Saint Patrick's Day is almost upon us we thought it fitting our "Creature Feature" be the Green Sea Anemone. It feels slightly sticky to the touch, but, believe it or not, the Giant Green Sea Anemone's stinging cells (nematocysts - pronounced 'nem-at-oh-sists') are powerful enough to paralyze a small fish.


The Giant Green Sea Anemone attaches itself to a hard substrate in moderately shallow areas that might also provide an unpredictable surge of the sea to push unwary fish or mussels into its deadly tentacles.  Tidepools, with their numerous rocky outcropping, gradually receding sea floor, and high wave action, are the perfect places to find these beautiful creatures.


Anemones and microscopic algae called zooxanthellae work together in a most peculiar symbiotic relationship: the anemone allows the algae to flourish in a safe environment (its own tissue), free from grazing predators, and in turn, when food is scarce, the anemone is able to gain nutrition from the algae.


Giant Green Sea Anemones are one of the largest anemones in the world, but in the intertidal area (where competition for living space is intense) they usually do not obtain their full size potential.  They adorn their bases with bits of shell and sand to keep them moist and to reflect sunlight during low tide (when they can be completely exposed to the elements).


Giant Green Sea Anemones are particularly sensitive to pollution.  As such, if your intertidal area is festooned with these beautiful "emeralds of the coast", it is a sure sign of a good, healthy environment!


Photo courtesy of Tiffany Boothe, Seaside Aquarium




World of Haystack Rock Lecture Series

Wednesday, March 12

Rebecca Hillwig, Program Coordinator, Beach Monitoring, Center for Health Protection, Oregon Health Authority.
Better Ecosystems Through Active Conservation and Habitat Stewardship
Cost: FREE!
Cannon Beach Library
131 N Hemlock

Neal Maine, Biologist, Educator, Wildlife Photographer, formerly with North Coast Land Conservancy and HRAP. "(Looking) at Trees to (See) the Forest - The Art of Coastal Living"



Friends of Haystack Rock is a non-profit organization with the goal of providing guidance and financial support for the Haystack Rock Awareness Program (HRAP) together with the City of Cannon Beach. Friends of Haystack Rock is guided by a volunteer board of directors and advisors consisting of committed community members.

Friends of Haystack Rock
PO Box 1222
Cannon Beach, OR 97110


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Wild about Wilderness 

by Dawn Harris, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Did you know that in addition to being a National Wildlife Refuge Haystack Rock is also a nationally designated Wilderness Area?  Back in 1964, the Wilderness Act was passed protecting 9 million acres.   This year we celebrate the 50th birthday of the Wilderness Act and my how it has grown.  More than 100 million acres of wilderness have been preserved and it includes some of America's greatest and most breathtaking lands from the Cabeza Prieta Wilderness in Arizona to Misty Fjords in Alaska.


Haystack Rock was designated as wilderness in 1978. Today, Haystack Rock is part of Oregon Islands Wilderness which has a total of 372 acres and includes 1,853 coastal rocks and islands.  The rocks and islands in Oregon Islands Wilderness exhibit vast amounts of variety. Between the islands' stature, location along the coast, distance from shore, vegetative cover, and breeding wildlife, no two islands are the same. The islands range from small rocks barely above water, to towering monoliths used by hundreds of thousands of seabirds, to expansive, vegetated, mesa-like islands that provide habitat for seals and sea lions to rest or give birth to pups in the spring.  Join us in celebrating 50 years of preservation of wilderness by visiting www.wilderness50th.org


Photo Courteousy of David Ledig, USFWS




Do you enjoy sharing your knowledge with people? Would you like to help inspire stewardship of our coastal ecosystems? If so, you would be a great Rocky Shore Interpreter at Haystack Rock! 


The Haystack Awareness Program (HRAP) constantly seeks help to educate the public on the beach. Become a volunteer today by contacting Alix Lee, HRAP Volunteer Coordinator, Phone: 503-436-8095 (TTY:503-436-8097)

Email: hrapvolunteer@ci.cannon-beach.or.us 


Also, RSVP to our upcoming trainings: 

Spring: Saturday, April 5th 9am-2pm

Summer: Saturday, June 7th 9am-2pm

(Trainings are held at Cannon Beach City Hall, 163 E. Gower Street)