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King Tides Expected This Weekend

The term ‘king tide’ is a non-scientific term that refers to the highest winter tides that occur each year. These extreme high tides occur when the moon’s orbit comes closest to the earth, the earth’s orbit is closest to the sun, and the sun, moon and earth are in direct alignment, thereby increasing their gravitational influence on the tides.

The King Tides Project is looking to document the effect that extreme tide events have on our state’s beaches, coastal waterways, private property, and public infrastructure. Photographs of these tides help to visualize and understand the impacts of sea level rise (like flooding and erosion). The effect of individual King Tides may vary considerably. In some cases, they may barely even be noticed. In other cases, a King Tide may cause coastal erosion, flooding of low-lying areas, and disruption to normal daily routines. This is particularly true when a King Tide event coincides with significant

precipitation or storm surge, creating even higher water levels. Over time, the frequency and effect of King Tide events may increase due to sea level rise. You are invited to participate in the project by taking pictures of areas impacted by king tides and sharing your photos. These photos help guide sea level rise modeling and mapping, give meaning to data and charts, and educate others about how the Oregon coast is experiencing the impacts of climate change.

For more information about tides, visit: https://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/education.html

Oregon King Tides Project is partnering with the Oregon Coast Visitors Association and Oregon Sea Grant to host a photo contest of king tides photos submitted during the 2022-2023 winter season. This year, there are four categories of photos up for prizes: coastal flooding, coastal erosion, waves, and comparison (avg. high tide vs. king tide). Winners will be chosen in early February based on which best showcase the impacts of high water along the Oregon coast.

Sea level is predicted to rise over the next century. Several areas of the Oregon coast are already vulnerable to high water levels because of their low elevations and proximity to the shoreline. Rising sea levels means increased erosion and more frequent and expanded flooding in the future. An infrequent event today could become normal in the future. Understanding and documenting the extent and impacts of especially high tide events is one way to highlight the need to prepare for the effects of future climate conditions. The King Tides Project generates information that coastal communities can use to reduce vulnerabilities to rising sea levels.

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