King Tides are extreme high tide events that occur when the sun and moon’s gravitational forces magnify one another. King Tides tend to be more dramatic in the winter when storms cause increased wind and wave activity along the coast. These high water events hint at how flooding from rising sea levels will impact our beaches, coastal areas, and shoreline communities in the not-so-distant future.
Understanding the future impacts from sea level rise is a first step toward adapting to these changes. Humboldt Baykeeper started the King Tides Photo Initiative in 2011 to document water levels in vulnerable areas, particularly near dikes, populated areas, roads, and bridges.
Currently, several other organizations have created their own initiatives to documents King Tides, including the California King Tides Initiative and the City of Arcata’s King Tide Community Observation Story Map. Members of the public can submit their own photos of King Tides to any of the following web pages.