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Environmental reporter Christopher Dunagan discusses the challenges of protecting Puget Sound and all things water-related.
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Grab your camera to share some high-tide photos

January 21st, 2011 by cdunagan

With extreme high tides coming over the next few days, it may be a good time to shoot some photos of the shoreline, as suggested by the Washington Department of Ecology in a news release. Some of the highest tides of the year will be visible during daylight hours.

The high tide at the mouth of Gorst Creek comes close to reaching Toys Topless in Gorst. Photo by Meegan M. Reid, Kitsap Sun

Last year about this time, the high tide at the mouth of Gorst Creek comes close to reaching Toys Topless in Gorst.
Photo by Meegan M. Reid, Kitsap Sun

The idea of observing shoreline areas during extreme tides is part of an effort to make people aware of climate change, which is expected to cause extreme tides to become more extreme. By 2050, climate models suggest that we could see water levels about six inches higher for the same tidal cycles, according to Ted Sturdivant, director of Ecology. Here’s his statement:

“Understanding what climate change will mean to our environment is a key to making Washington climate-smart, and these very high tides are like a window into the future.

“As sea level rises in the years to come, many of our shorelines — including those in our most populated areas — are very likely to be affected. By inviting the public to help us document the effects of higher water levels during king tides, we are laying the groundwork to help communities identify those areas most vulnerable to coastal flooding.

“This work will help us anticipate what Washington communities can expect along much of our state’s thousands of miles of tidal coastline.”

Ecology compiled a list of the predicted tides and related times for 14 locations in Western Washington. See King Tide Schedule (PDF 41 kb).

If you get some good photos, Ecology would like you to share them on Flickr by going to Washington King Tide Photo Initiative.

During the king tide season last year, people seemed fairly interested in this topic, and some pretty good photos were submitted. Check out my entry in Water Ways for Feb. 1, 2010.

As a bonus, Jim Aho of Illahee tracked down some pretty interesting information about tides for the Illahee Community Blog.

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2 Responses to “Grab your camera to share some high-tide photos”

  1. dale Says:

    Take a shovel some boots and some gloves along with that camera, if there is a strong wind you might set the camera down and help save someones house.

  2. Stone Says:

    “The idea of observing shoreline areas during extreme tides is part of an effort to make people aware of climate change.” Perhaps, but it is far more likely that the DOE wants to make people afraid today of a tidal norm that may evolve slowly over decades. When people are afraid, they are willing to make rash decisions to support the super heroes who promise to save them (politicians or, in this case, state agencies facing budget cuts). As the tides rise, all of civilization will be forced to make changes, but there’s no need to panic.

    One wonders why the DOE never mentions that the gravitational pull of the Moon, the cause of tides in the first place, is lessening as the Moon moves farther away from the Earth. Maybe it’s because it’s is only moving at the rate of about 1 inch per year and the change won’t be apparent to anyone for a LONG time.

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