Crowdsourced photos will help flooding, erosion, and sea level rise infrastructure projects and research in Pacific and Wahkiakum Counties
King tides are naturally occurring tidal events that bring high water levels to local shores. King tides will occur monthly in November through January. Researchers throughout the region aim to utilize king tides to visualize sea level rise impacts and are calling on the community for help. Community members can contribute to the research efforts by sharing photos of king tides’ impacts to infrastructure, habitats, homes, and other places of interest. Researchers request that these photos are uploaded to the free MyCoast phone app or MyCoast.org/WA website.
With adequate precautions, photographing king tides can be an exciting experience. Viewers are encouraged to stay off beaches, cliffs, and other low-lying areas, and never turn their back to the ocean to ensure safe, successful king tide viewing experiences.
Researchers will host a 30-minute webinar on Zoom on Tuesday, November 22, at 6 p.m. for community members interested in more information about how crowdsourced photos submitted to MyCoast.org/WA website or the MyCoast phone app will assist local projects. Webinar access: www.bit.ly/kingtides2022-23
“King tides provide a glimpse of how sea level rise can affect our region,” stated Jackson Blalock, Community Engagement Specialist at Washington Sea Grant. “Today’s flooding or erosion problems will likely get worse with sea level rise, so photos from community members can ensure that planning for the future also addresses today’s priorities.”
“The Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership will use the crowdsourced photos shared on the MyCoast app and website to prioritize places and infrastructure at risk of increased flooding that are important to the community,” said Catherine Corbett, Chief Scientist at the Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership. “Simply snapping a few photos of a king tide from a safe location can help us a lot.”
King tides documented by community members on the MyCoast.org/WA website or MyCoast phone app will inform multiple projects, including the Pacific County Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Assessment conducted by the Pacific County Department of Community Development and The Watershed Company; sea level rise planning efforts in Baker and Grays Bay led by the Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership and Washington Sea Grant; and the 2023 Pacific County Marine Resource Committee’s Annual Science Conference and Seafood Feast.
MyCoast.org is a national website and phone app that uses photographs to document tides, storm damage, beach cleanups, and more. Information gathered through MyCoast is used to inform decision makers, emergency managers, and others. It is currently utilized by nine states.