A Gathering of Pisaster ochraceus.
These Ochre Sea Stars are likely feeding on the barnacles attached to this exposed piling. They are exposed due to the extreme low tide. Up until 2013 this occurrence would have been commonplace but due to the “sea star wasting disease” it has been rare or nonexistent. Up until now! The Sunflower Seastar with its many arms have yet to recover. It’s good to see the return of these purple fellows.
''Pisaster ochraceus'', generally known as the purple sea star, ochre sea star, or ochre starfish, is a common starfish found among the waters of the Pacific Ocean. Identified as a keystone species, ''P. ochraceus'' is considered an important indicator for the health of the intertidal zone.