King Tide Project Rises Again

King tide washes against riprap north of Yachats.\Photo by Gail Pardi.
King tide washes against riprap north of Yachats.\Photo by Gail Pardi.

The 2018-2019 edition of the King Tide Project is on the horizon.  We have identified the three highest-high-tide sequences of the coming winter, and we're organizing "preview" events to provide background information and introduce new volunteers to the project, through which volunteer photographers document the reach of the highest tides to show current vulnerabilities to flooding and provide a preview of sea level rise.

The three rounds of the upcoming King Tide Project take place

*December, 2018, 21-23

*January, 2019, 20-22

*February, 2019, 18-20

This will be the ninth year that CoastWatch has collaborated with the state's Coastal Management Program to sponsor Oregon’s contribution to this international citizen science initiative.  (The project originated in Australia, where these highest tides of the year are known as “king tides,” so the term is now used for the project around the world.) Through the King Tide Project, photographers trace the reach of the year’s highest tides, showing the intersection of the ocean with both human-built infrastructure (roads, seawalls, trails, bridges) and natural features such as cliffs and wetlands.  Anyone capable of wielding a camera can participate. 

We will hold a number of “preview” events, which will be interesting to anyone who cares about the coast in their own right, but also help to prepare prospective King Tide volunteers.  Each will feature one or two speakers providing background on climate change and how it may affect the shoreline, a quick briefing on how to participate in the project, a chance to view the best of previous King Tide Project photos—plus food, drink, and a chance to socialize with fellow conservation-minded coast-lovers.  The preview events now on the calendar take place

*December 14, 5:30 p.m., Rogue Brewer’s on the Bay, Newport

*January 17, 5:30 p.m., Arch Rock Brewing Company, Gold Beach

*January 18, 5:30 p.m., Charleston Marine Life Center, Charleston

For details, see separate listings for each in the CoastWatch calendar.  Events for the north coast in February are still TBA, but will be announced soon.

To see the work of the dozens of volunteer photographers who contributed to the work during last year's project, and from previous years as well, see this special Flickr site.

Documenting the highest annual reach of the tides tells us something about areas of the natural and built environments which are subject to erosion and flooding now. It tells us even more about what to expect as sea level rises. Photographs of any tidally affected area—outer shores, estuary, or lower river—are relevant.  The ideal would be to document the high-tide point everywhere on the coast.  However, photos of spots where the extreme tidal reach is particularly apparent, inundating built or natural features, are most striking, and most clearly depict the future effects of sea level rise.

For more information on the project and how to participate and post photos see the project’s website, http://www.oregonkingtides.net/.  Participants can post photographs online through this site. Be prepared to include the date, description and direction of the photo. An interactive map is available that will assist photographers in determining the exact latitude and longitude at which a photo was taken.   Photos can also be posted to social media (Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter) and tagged #orkingtides.

For information about the project and how to get involved this year, contact Fawn Custer at (541) 270-0027, [email protected], or Meg Reed, DLCD’s Coastal Shores Specialist, at (541) 574-0811, [email protected].