Tuesday, February 20 , 2018, 5:57 am | Fair 37º


Volunteer Photographers Needed to Document Next Week’s ‘King Tides’ in Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara Channelkeeper asks citizens to help capture the coastline's higher sea levels

Some of the year’s highest tides will breach California’s coastal and bay shorelines next week, providing a glimpse of what the state can expect as sea levels rise in the coming years. Santa Barbara Channelkeeper is working as part of a statewide initiative to mobilize citizens in Santa Barbara to get out their cameras and document some of this winter’s highest tides — known as “King Tides” — Monday through Wednesday, Feb. 6-8.

“King tides are an excellent way to visualize how higher sea levels and increased storm intensity could change our shoreline and impact our precious coastal resources,” said Michael Sheehy, Marine Programs director at Santa Barbara Channelkeeper. “Collecting images of these higher sea level events across the state provides a wonderful outreach tool to inform policymakers of the importance in proactively addressing climate change.”

According to a 2009 report by the Pacific Institute, the ocean along California’s coast is projected to rise as much as 55 inches by the end of the century. King Tides are typically 5 to 8 inches above normal, providing a glimpse of Santa Barbara’s future. To help document the potential impacts of rising sea levels, Channelkeeper is calling on local citizens to take photos during the King Tides coming between 7 and 9 a.m. Monday through Wednesday in areas known to flood and where high water levels can be gauged against sea walls, jetties, bridge supports or dikes.

Locales vulnerable to high tides include (but are not limited to) Isla Vista beaches, Goleta Beach Park, Leadbetter Beach, Butterfly Beach, Miramar Beach, Carpinteria Salt Marsh, Hobson State Beach and Faria State Beach.

Last year, Channelkeeper joined the California Coastkeeper Alliance, other organizations and volunteers as part of the King Tides Initiative to take photos during some of the highest tides of the year. The initiative aims to engage Californians in a conversation about the future of coastal areas, identify and catalog coastal areas that are currently vulnerable to tidal inundation, and build an online resource of images that can be used by everyone to communicate about coastal hazards. The ultimate goal is to support climate change mitigation and adaptation policies and to inspire communities and policy-makers to take the necessary steps to protect our coastal beaches, wetlands and coastal properties from destruction as our shoreline disappears under rising seas.

Citizens are encouraged to get out their cameras and then upload their photos, along with their contact information, photo location, orientation and date and time of day, directly to the California King Tides Flickr group or by email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

To learn more about the King Tides Initiative, click here or click here.

— Michael Sheehy is the director of Marine Programs for Santa Barbara Channelkeeper

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