King Tide Project Surges Again

For the seventh year, Oregonians are participating in the King Tide Project, the state’s branch of an international citizen science initiative.  The project is sponsored in Oregon each year by CoastWatch, along with the Coastal Management Program of the Department of Land Conservation and Development, and the Surfrider Foundation.

Through the King Tide Project, volunteer photographers document the highest tides of the year, showing the intersection of the ocean with both human-built infrastructure (roads, seawalls, trails, bridges) and natural features such as cliffs and wetlands.  Such high tides are known in Australia, where the project originated, as “King Tides.” Anyone capable of wielding a camera can participate.

The three King Tides for this year began with the series that took place November 14-16  and December 12-15, 2016.  The final round is coming up January 10-12, 2017.  

We particularly need photos that show how current infrastructure and key natural features are impacted by higher water. Information on how to participate and post photos can be found on the project’s website, http://www.oregonkingtides.net/.

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 already. 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.

Participants will post photographs online through the King Tide site. Be prepared to include the date and a description including the direction of the photo (e.g. facing northwest). An interactive map is available that will assist photographers in determining the exact latitude and longitude at which a photo was taken.

For information about the project, contact Fawn Custer, CoastWatch volunteer coordinator, at (541) 270-0027, [email protected].