OLYMPIA, Wash. – As previously reported here, king tides are returning to the coast this week. These extremely high tides that happen once or twice a year may temporarily flood roads, parking lots and beaches. The king tides are a natural phenomenon that occur when the sun and moon’s gravitational pulls reinforce one another. They happen when the moon is closest to the earth. The state Department of Ecology is asking people to take pictures of the king tides and send them in. Similar tide photo projects are under way in California and British Columbia, all in support of education about how rising sea levels from climate change will affect the Puget Sound and the Pacific Coast. Dates vary slightly depending on location. Along Washington’s outer coast, king tides will occur Dec. 21-26, 2011, and Jan. 19-24, 2012. In the Strait of Juan de Fuca, they occur Dec. 21-25, 2011, and Jan. 18-22, 2012. The Puget Sound dates for king tides are Dec. 27-29, 2011, and Jan. 13-17, 2012.