High tides inundate many shorelines in Puget Sound

Kitsap and Mason counties were well represented in recent high-tide photos that area residents e-mailed to the Washington Department of Ecology.

Twanoh State Park on Hood Canal near Belfair. Photo by John Stokes.

Another opportunity to photograph high tides begins today, according to Ecology officials. For information about submitting photos to Ecology, go to the agency’s EcoNet blog.

By the way, Kitsap Sun reporter Rachel Pritchett reported about the high tides as well as those mentioned in Ecology’s blog.

The following, along with numerous photos, is posted on Ecology’s Web site:

“More extreme high tide events are expected to occur on a more regular basis in the future as a result of rising sea levels. In the Olympia region, for example, these high tide events could occur ten times per year by 2050 instead of just once or twice per year, based on a medium projection of 6 inches of seal level rise in 2050 for the Puget Sound region.

“This is expected to intensify flooding of coastal areas, especially during major storm events. Rising sea levels also shift coastal beaches inland and increase erosion of coastal bluffs, endangering houses and other structures built near the shore or near the bluff edges. Saltwater intrusion into coastal freshwater aquifers is also expected as sea levels rise.

Why it matters

“Understanding the future impacts from sea level rise and creating tools and information to assist local governments and the citizens of the state is a priority for Governor Gregoire and the Department of Ecology. A recent executive order signed by the Governor in May 2009 directed the agency to ‘evaluate the potential impacts of sea level rise on the state’s shoreline areas.’”

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

“Governor Gregoire also signed legislation in the spring of 2009 (E2SSB 5560) that included provisions for the formation of an ‘integrated climate change response strategy’ for the state. Ecology and other state agencies are currently working with stakeholders to develop the strategy, which will better enable state and local agencies, public and private businesses, nongovernmental organizations, and individuals to prepare for, address, and adapt to the impacts of climate change.”

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