State asking for photo documentation of “king” tides


The state Department of Ecology is inviting the public to share photos of this week’s unusually high tides.

The tidal events are often referred to as king tides, and the state agency said they offer a potential glimpse of how rising sea levels from global climate change could affect Washington’s marine shoreline areas.

Impacts include shifting marine beaches inland, increasing coastal bluff erosion, possibly endangering houses and other structures built near the shore such as roads, seawalls and utilities.

This season’s king tides will happen through mid January 2013.

Dates vary slightly depending on location:

• Along Washington’s outer coast, king tides will occur Dec. 12-15 and Jan. 10-12.

• In the Strait of Juan de Fuca, they occur Dec. 12-14 and Jan. 8-12.

• The Puget Sound dates for king tides are Dec. 16-19 and Jan. 14-17.

Since 2010, Ecology has collected nearly 500 king tide photos from the public. Follow these steps to participate:

• Use Ecology’s king tide map and schedule to find when and where the highest tides will occur. Go to http://www.ecy.wa.gov/climatechange/ipa_hightide_map.htm.

• Take photos during a king tide, preferably where the high water levels can be gauged against familiar landmarks such as sea walls, jetties, bridge supports or buildings.