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King tide survey seeks help from Hawaii’s citizen scientists

  • COURTESY UH SEA GRANT COLLEGE PROGRAM

Citizen scientists are invited to help document king tides around the Hawaiian isles today and tomorrow.

King tides are the highest astronomical tides of the year, and tend to occur in Hawaii during the summer months of July and August, and during the winter months of December and January in conjunction with new moons and full moons, according to the University of Hawaii Sea Grant College Program, which is running the project.

The Hawaii and Pacific Islands King Tides Project seeks to gather at least 3,000 photos this summer. Photos of the elevated water levels provide a glimpse into the future of how sea-level rise may impact Hawaii’s coastal ecosystems and communities. They help provide a visual of how sea level rise would look on Hawaii coastlines.

Participants are asked to head to the coast today and tomorrow and to submit photos and observations to a new, online submission platform developed in collaboration with the Pacific Islands Ocean Observing System (PacIOOS)

To find peak high tides at locations across Hawaii, visit the project website at PacificIslandsKingTides.org.

Projects said Hurricane Hector could potentially impact water levels and wave conditions in the Hawaiian Isles this week, so participants should always observe first and practice safety while taking photos.

Last year, citizen scientists helped contribute a total of 2,400 photos to the database, which is publicly accessible. Questions can be emailed to KingTide@hawaii.edu.

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