Natural History

Botanical Beach has extensive upland habitat, but is best known for its abundance of intertidal life. A visitor can find hundreds of species of plants and animals. The organisms that live here must be able to handle a wide range of conditions. When the tide is out there are large changes in temperature, predators, food sources and salinity.

The main tide-pools and sculptured formations are formed out of soft sandstone. Some of the parks tide-pools are formed by wave-tossed boulders grinding out pockets in the sandstone. Purple Sea Urchins further modify these tide-pools by grinding out small pockets. Ridges of shale and quartz jut up through black basalt,and the southern cliffs form some of the most photogenic landscapes found on southern Vancouver Island.