King Tide fills Yaquina wetlands.  Photo by Meg Reed.

King Tide fills Yaquina wetlands. Photo by Meg Reed.

Each winter’s King Tide Project concludes with a series of wrap-up parties.  These celebrate the good work that has been done, but also help to prepare us for the next year’s effort.  CoastWatch, along with co-sponsors Surfrider and the Coastal Management Program, invite one and all to join one of these upcoming events, honoring the seventh annual King Tide project and looking forward to the eighth.

Three wrap-up parties are on the schedule.  Each celebrates the intrepid photographers who documented the highest reach of the highest tides, featuring the best of that year’s photos, not to mention food, drink and good company.  Each also features a speaker who will put the project in its real context—previewing the future coast as sea level rises.  These events, while fun, are also an essential aspect of the project, for two reasons:  1) the goal is to educate ourselves about coastal erosion and the coming impacts of sea level rise, so these parties have the serious purpose of reviewing what we’ve learned and placing it in context; and 2) we’ll be doing it again next year, and the more coverage of the coast we receive, the more valuable the project, so these parties also introduce the project to potential new participants.

All are free, although a donation of $5 or more to help cover the costs would be appreciated.

On Friday, September 27, festivities take place beginning at 5:30 p.m. in the Rogue Brewery in South Beach (2320 S.E. Marine Science Dr.), across the bridge from Newport proper.  Finger food provided; more food and drink available from the Rogue.  The year’s King Tide photos will be on view, and there will be a raffle.

Our speaker for the occasion is Julie Sepanik, whose topic is “Planning for Future Flooding in Oregon’s Estuaries.”  She is a NOAA Coastal Management Fellow, stationed with the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD).  Her academic background includes investigating the response of salt marshes to sea-level rise, and her current project with DLCD is a “sea-level rise exposure inventory” for communities along our estuaries, exploring the impacts climate change is likely to have on estuaries and their resources.  This information will aid coastal cities and counties in planning for resilience in the face of climate impacts.  She will discuss the flooding scenarios being developed, and how citizen science such as the King Tide Project can help in visualizing these models.

The second King Tide celebration will take place on Saturday, February 4, at the Charleston Marine Life Center (63466 Boat Basin Dr., opposite the Oregon Institute of Marine Biology), 5-7:30 p.m.  This is a new venue for us, and a chance for many to take a first look at this new facility. 

Our speaker on this occasion is Meg Reed, Coastal Shores Specialist for the state’s Department of Land Conservation and Development.  Meg is a colleague–she worked with CoastWatch and Surfrider to organize the King Tide Project.  She will discuss her research on sea level rise, coastal erosion, shoreline armoring, and future policy options in managing our shoreline in an era of climate impacts.  She will also explain how volunteers cooperating through the King Tide Project provide valuable data points that managers and scientists can use to track such impacts.

The final wrap-up event takes place in Cannon Beach on Friday, February 10, beginning at 5:30 p.m., hosted by the Pacific Coast Brewing Company (264 Third St.).  As with the other events, finger food provided, no-host libations are available, photos will be shown.

The special speaker is Laura Brown, a shellfish biologist with the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians.  She will discuss how climate change will affect the peoples who have inhabited our coast the longest, and in particular how it will affect the coastal resources on which they depend.

For more information, contact Fawn Custer, CoastWatch volunteer coordinator, at (541) 270-0027,

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.  Attending one of these final wrap-up parties for the 2016-2017 project is a great way to learn how to get involved for 2017-2018.

For information about the parties or the project, contact Fawn Custer, CoastWatch volunteer coordinator, at (541) 270-0027,