Tracking King Tides To Monitor Sea Level Rise

Dec 12, 2016

Tides will be higher than usual this week [12/12 – 12/15] on the Oregon coast. A coalition of conservation groups seeks photos of the King Tides to record sea level rise.

Nehalem Bay boat ramp, Waterfront Park in Wheeler. Ramp is underwater, water is at lower edge of sign. Photo taken in Dec. 2012.
Credit LMManz / CoastWatch

King Tides are higher than normal high tides which occur in summer and winter. They’re easier to photograph this time of year because the tide is high during the day. Fawn Custer is with CoastWatch. She says as sea level rises, as a result of climate change, waves inundate farther in-shore.
Custer: “So we already see that here where we will see salt water push a little bit further up the estuaries. We’ll also see, along the shoreline, where waves that weren’t originally washing out the shoreline are doing so now.”
Custer asks people to submit photos of the King Tides to CoastWatch. Ideally, she’d like pictures of regular high tide at the same place to compare with King Tide pics. She says the photos help document how things are changing and can help government planners think about where to build houses and roads. Custer urges people to be aware of safety when taking photos on the coast.

Siletz Estuary, just after the Highway 101 bridge. During King Tide. Photo taken in 2011.
Credit Cinamon Moffet / CoastWatch

There’s a talk on “Shoreline Armoring and King Tides” Monday evening at 6 at Depoe Bay Community Hall in Depoe Bay.

Photos can be submitted to the Oregon King Tides Photo Project

Siletz Estuary, just after the Highway 101 bridge. During normal high tide, 2011.
Credit Cinamon Moffet / CoastWatch