Tampa Bay: A Climate-Ready Estuary
What will coastal areas around Tampa Bay, Florida look like when the sea level rises?
The Tampa Bay Estuary Program is spearheading a photo-documentary project called "Florida Tide Watch." Local citizens will be recruited to become
"Tide Watchers" in an effort to document flooding during the upcoming "King Tides." TBEP will be working with its sister NEP's in Florida to enlist citizens
in this unusual project, to raise awareness of the potential impacts of rising seas on our shorelines and communities.
King tides are extremely high tides which occur typically two times per year, in the spring and fall, when the earth, sun, and moon align and the
gravitational pull is at its greatest. This gravitational force causes King Tides which can push enough water to raise sea levels by as much as a foot
in some areas. Fishermen will be familiar with this astronomical phenomenon which exacerbates both the low tide and the high or 'spring tide.'
It is no secret that scientists believe climate change will raise sea level by several inches to several feet within the next century. The King Tides
represent a temporary yet highly visual way to determine what impacts we can expect as sea levels rise in the future. Many local government agencies
are working to incorporate science-based sea-level rise projections into future planning.
Citizens will be able to participate as "Tide Watchers" by taking photos of areas at low tide and during the King Tide to photo-document changes
on land from the unusually high tide. Citizen photos along with details about where the photos were taken will be uploaded and collected in an on-line
photo sharing site.
Citizens in Santa Monica, CA and Seattle, WA have already begun documenting the effects of the King Tides along the west coast of the
U.S. and have been uploading their photos to a Flickr website.
In the Tampa Bay area the next King Tide is expected to be in early June, 2012.
To learn more about Tampa Bay Estuary Program's participation in the King Tide photo documentary project as part of U.S. EPA's
Climate Ready Estuaries program, please visit EPA's Climate Ready Estuaries website page: http://www.epa.gov/CRE/.
Or view their King Tide Fact Sheet at: http://www.epa.gov/CRE/news.html.
For more information please contact Misty Cladas, Project Manager, Tampa Bay Estuary Program; E-mail: email@example.com, telephone: (727) 893-2765.