King Tides: A glimpse into tomorrow, a photo challenge today

It’s that time of year again; time to grab your camera and snap some photos of the extremely high King Tides occurring along Washington’s shorelines. We need your help documenting them!

Water coming up high on cement steps at Alki Beach with waterfront buildings and Spaceneedle showing in the background.

What are King Tides?

King Tides are the highest tides of the year. In Washington, these usually occur in late December and early January.

When the gravity from the sun, moon, and earth align, the combination creates annual extremely high tides: King Tides. These tides can last for several days and range anywhere between a few inches to several feet above the normal tide.

King Tides provide a window into what daily tides could look like in the future as a result of sea level rise. Pictures of King Tides offer a record of the changes to coasts and shorelines year after year.

Learn more about the science of King Tides in this blog post from last year.

You can help! Go "on location" for your photo shoot

Your photos give a glimpse of what the future may look like for shorelines. They help our scientists track changes through the years. King Tides is happening now! Break from your holiday festivities, grab your camera, and head out to Puget Sound, the Strait of Juan de Fuca, or the Pacific Coast to photograph the highest seasonal tides. 

Nice day for a walk on the beach #KingTides #WA

There are several ways to participate:

  • Washington’s Witness King Tides site
    Upload your picture to the Washington Sea Grant's Witness King Tides website. Scroll over "Get Involved" and then click on "Share your Photos".
  • InstagramFacebook or Twitter
    Submit photos by simply using the hashtags #KingTides and #WA in your description. If you can tag the location of the photo, even better.

Your photos will be used in educational and outreach materials; please do not include people in your photos.

To best illustrate the impacts of the high tides, take your photos in areas where the high water levels can easily be measured. This might be a landscape near a sea wall, jetty, bridge, building, road, or other landmarks. 

Have fun and be safe

Make your photo assignment fun by getting interesting and creative shots. Take the family and make it a learning opportunity for kids. King Tides are a great chance to teach children about future sea level rise.

Remember, safety first when capturing photos. Be careful when walking on slippery areas or near big waves. Unusually high tides can make familiar territory very unfamiliar, be aware of your surroundings.

We can’t wait to see the different photos you send in. Now, ready, set, go capture some King Tides!

#KingTides #WA text next to steps that are covered by water.

King Tides are here. Capture them, post them, and tag them with #KingTides #WA