Grab your camera — and grab your rubber boots while you’re at it — the King Tide Project is appealing for photos of extreme high tides set to hit the Oregon Coast on Sunday, Dec. 3, through Tuesday, Dec. 5.
These tides arrive when the sun, moon and Earth are in alignment, causing a stronger-than-usual gravitational pull.
Anyone with a camera can participate. Just find a good location, snap photos and post them online.
King Tide photos can be taken anywhere affected by tides, whether on the outer shoreline, in estuaries or along lower river floodplains. Photos showing high water in relation to infrastructure such as roads, bridges and seawalls can be particularly striking, and reveal where flooding problems threaten. But shots of marshes or other habitats being inundated, or coastal shorelines subject to flooding and erosion, are also useful.
The goal of this long-term citizen science project is to document the highest reach of the tides on an ongoing basis, for comparative study over a period of many years. Photographers are urged to return to the locations from which they took King Tide photos and take comparison shots at ordinary high tide.
While the King Tide Project can help to identify areas that are currently threatened by flooding, the more important purpose is to gain a preview of sea level rise. The king tides, while extreme today, will become the “new normal” as sea level continues to rise, and storm surges increase, due to global warming. Gaining a glimpse of tidal inundation likely to become common decades into the future will benefit planners, resource agencies, conservationists and coastal citizens in preparing for these changes.
More information on the project, a link to tide tables and instructions for posting photos, can be found at www.oregonkingtides.net.
Photographs from past years of the King Tide Project can be viewed on the project’s Flickr site, www.flickr.com/people/orkingtide.
More information is also available from Fawn Custer, CoastWatch volunteer coordinator, at 541-270-0027 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or Meg Reed, coastal shores specialist with the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development at 541-574-0811 or email@example.com.
The last of this winter’s three batches of King Tides will hit the Oregon Coast from Jan. 2 to 4,
Nehalem at King Tide • Photo by Gretel Oxwang.