The Ochre starfish Pisaster ochraceous is most commonly found in the Northeastern Pacific, where, at low tide, it can often be seen in tidal pools and sitting tucked away in rock crevices.
During low tide, it is exposed to the air and cannot move until it is submerged again at high tide. If it is also exposed to the sun, it can suffer heat stress.
Pisaster ochraceous can be found on wave-washed rocky shores, from above the low-tide zone to 90 m in depth. Because they can live in shallow water they need to survive in these living conditions, including strong surges, big temperature changes, dilution by rainfall, and dessication. Pisaster ochraceous is very resistant to dessication and it can tolerate a loss of thirty-percent of its body weight in body fluids.