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Get Your Cameras Ready: It's Oregon Coast King Tides Time Again

Published 11/21/2017 at 7:25 PM PDT - Updated 11/21/2017 at 7:55 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

It's Oregon Coast King Tides Time Again: Get Your Cameras Ready

(Oregon Coast) – The second round of this winter's King Tide Project is now at hand and officials are asking the public to contribute photographs of the year's highest tides. The current focus is on the set of extreme high tides - known as “king tides” - arriving December 3 - 5. (Above: king tide photo in Nehalem, by Gretel Oxwang.)

The first round of the project took place in November; the last series of tides to be photographed will rise January 2 - 4, 2018. Through the King Tide Project, photographers can trace the highest tides of the year, showing how they intersect with man-made objects as well as natural formations, such as roads, seawalls, trails, bridges, or cliffs or wetlands.

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Anyone with a camera can participate. At high tide on these days, find a good location, snap photos, and post them online. More information on the project, a link to tide tables, and instructions for posting photos, can be found on the website,

There are a number of events associated with the project that offer background information, instructions, and a chance to team up with other volunteers, offered up in December and January at various locales around the Oregon coast. See the King Tides website, or the CoastWatch site,

“King Tide photos can be taken anywhere affected by tides, whether on the outer shoreline, in estuaries, or along lower river floodplains,” said CoastWatch director Phillip Johnson. “Photos showing high water in relation to infrastructure (roads, bridges, seawalls, and the like) can be particularly striking, and reveal where flooding problems threaten.”

Even shots of marshes or other habitats being inundated by water, or coastal shorelines subject to flooding and erosion, are useful as well, Johnson said. There are long-term goals to the project where the aim is to document the highest tides that regularly happen in a location, useful for comparative study over many years. Those shutterbugs participating are also urged to return to those spots to take comparison shots at ordinary high tides.

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Check the event listings for several opportunities to get together with other King Tide volunteers for an orientation session and guidance on choosing locations. There are King Tide meet-ups December 3 in Cannon Beach, December 4 in Pacific City, and December 5 in Newport (the first two hosted by CoastWatch Volunteer Coordinator Fawn Custer, the third by Meg Reed of the Department of Land Conservation and Development's Coastal Management Program, a partner in organizing the project).

Meanwhile, the Oregon Coast Visitors Association is hosting a King Tide Photo Contest.

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