Film follows scientist along remote Olympic coast

Staff reportMarch 16, 2014 

A new online movie follows a scientist as he travels the remote coast of Olympic National Park to monitor the health of the park’s rocky intertidal community.

“Tides of Change,” a Science Minute Movie by the North Coast and Cascades Science Learning Network, takes viewers behind-the-scenes with coastal ecologist Dr. Steve Fradkin, as he traverses one of the most remote, wild and scenic coastlines, said a park news release.

The 12-minute video can be viewed online at

The flim shows the ongoing scientific monitoring and looks at how climate changes are altering the conditions and chemistry of the Pacific Coast’s rocky intertidal zone, according to the release.

Since 2002, Olympic National Park and six other parks in the North Coast and Cascade Network, have monitored critical natural resources that are sensitive to environmental change. Data collected through the National Park Service Inventory and Monitoring Program provides park managers with early warning signs of potential problems.

The North Coast and Cascades network is a program within the National Park Service created to encourage research in all of the Northwest national parks and to communicate the results of that research.

The new film, as well as other short videos documenting the work of park scientists, can be found on the network’s website at and on the Olympic National Park website at


The number of people visiting the nation’s national parks dropped 3 percent in 2013. There were more than 273.6 million recreational visits to the 401 parks, historic sites and recreation areas that make up the national park system.

The 2013 count was down 9.1 million visits from the 282.7 million visits in 2012. Park Service officials said the decrease was due in large part to the 17-day shutdown in October.

The shutdown reduced visitation for the year by 7.88 million visitors, Park Service Director Jon Jarvis said in a news release.

Among individual parks, Golden Gate National Recreation Area replaced the Blue Ridge Parkway as the most visited site in the park system.

Here are the top 10 most visited places in 2013:

Golden Gate National Recreation Area 14,289,121

Blue Ridge Parkway 12,877,368

Great Smoky Mountains National Park 9,354,695

George Washington Memorial Parkway 7,360,392

Lincoln Memorial 6,546,518

Lake Mead National Recreation Area 6,344,714

Gateway National Recreation Area 6,191,246

Natchez Trace Parkway 6,012,740

Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park 4,941,367

Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area 4,843,350

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