King tides are extremely high tides which typically occur two times per year, in the spring and fall, when the earth, sun, and moon align and the gravitational pull is at its greatest. This gravitational force causes tides which can push enough water to raise sea levels by as much as a foot in some areas. Fishermen will be familiar with this astronomical phenomenon which exacerbates both the low tide and the high or 'spring tide.'
It is no secret that scientists believe climate change will raise sea level by several inches to several feet within the next century. The King Tides represent a temporary yet highly visual way to determine what impacts we can expect as sea levels rise in the future. Many local government agencies are working to incorporate science-based sea-level rise projections into future planning.
Citizens can participate as "Tide Watchers" by taking photos of areas at low tide and during the King Tide to photo-document changes on land from the unusually high tides. Citizen photos along with details about where the photos were taken are being uploaded and collected in an on-line photo sharing site.
To learn more about the Tampa Bay Estuary Program's participation in the International King Tide program visit http://www.kingtides.net
The Tampa Bay Estuary Program is part of U.S. EPA's Climate Ready Estuaries program. Learn more at http://www.epa.gov/CRE/
Read a Fact Sheet on King Tides at:
For more information please contact Misty Cladas, Project Manager, Tampa Bay Estuary Program; E-mail: click here, telephone: (727) 893-2765.