King Tide Season Begins, State Requests Photos

OLYMPIA – Washington’s naturally-occurring king tides start on Wednesday Dec. 12, 2012, and the state Department of Ecology (Ecology) is inviting the public to share their photos of these higher-than-usual winter tides.

These tidal events are often referred to as king tides. They offer a potential glimpse of how rising sea levels from global climate change could affect Washington’s marine shoreline areas by:

* Intensifying coastal flooding, especially during high tides and major storm surges.

* Shifting marine beaches inland.

* Increasing coastal bluff erosion.

* Endangering houses and other structures built near the shore such as roads, seawalls and utilities.

In Washington’s coastal regions – Puget Sound, Strait of Juan de Fuca and the outer coast – this season’s king tides will happen from late December 2012 through mid January 2013.

Dates vary slightly depending on location:

* Along Washington’s outer coast, king tides will occur Dec. 12-15, 2012, and Jan. 10-12, 2013.

* In the Strait of Juan de Fuca, they occur Dec. 12-14, 2012, and Jan. 8-12, 2013.

* The Puget Sound dates for king tides are Dec. 16-19, 2012, and Jan. 14-17, 2013.

Follow these steps to participate:

* Use Ecology’s king tide map and schedule to find when and where the highest tides will occur. Go to

* Locate a public beach by checking out Ecology’s Coastal Atlas at

* Take photos during a king tide, preferably where the high water levels can be gauged against familiar landmarks such as sea walls, jetties, bridge supports or buildings.

* Note the date, time and location of your photo – then upload your images on the Washington King Tide Photo Initiative Flickr Group at http:[email protected]/.

* Play it safe! While the winter king tides occur during daylight hours, don’t venture out during severe weather and keep a close eye on rising water levels.

Since 2010, Ecology has collected nearly 500 king tide photos from the public. 


News Director of Jodesha Broadcasting since October 2007. Dave Haviland moved to Grays Harbor in 1979 and graduated from Aberdeen High School in 1993.