The line of dried seaweed, marine vegetation, and other organic debris and detritus left on the beach by the action of the tides is called the wrack line. Tides strand the remains of marine creatures and sea grasses on the beach.
Once established, the wrack line provides shelter for a variety of animals such as insects, crabs, and amphipods. They in turn serve as a food source for a variety of animals including shorebirds and raccoons. The organic material within the wrack line and the poop left behind by the birds and animals provide critical nutrients to dune vegetation. The wrack line also catches sand that helps build beaches.
Yesterday, I watched my fellow campers rake up everything on the beach including the wrack line. Earlier in the day I had watched birds picking through the wrack line looking for something to eat. Today, the birds did not return because the beach was "clean".
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