It’s one of the great spectacles on our beaches; the King Tides hit the shores of Dana Point recently. The exceptionally high tides (1-2 ft. above normal) are a naturally occurring event caused by the gravitational pull of the sun and the moon. They usually happen during a new or full moon.

On January 10th,11th &12th, people in Dana Point watched the waves crash along the rocks at heights much higher than usual. During the Ocean Insitute’s Capture the King Tide Nature Walk, people also noticed a dramatic change. Where you could once see large boulders at the base of the stairs leading to the Marine Conservation Area, was (at the time) just pebbles and sand.

There was a buzz among visitors along the shore, according to Kayla Tademy with the Ocean Institute. One of her favorite parts of the weekend was listening to people on the Nature Walk share what they had learned. “They were thrilled to inform curious bystanders on the King Tide Walk activity.” 

The group also made sure to document tidal levels as part of the international King Tide Project. It’s a way to help predict sea-level rise, future storm impacts, and modern-day flood risk. “People living along the coast are going to be experiencing some of the effects of sea-level rise if they haven’t experienced it already,” said Kayla.

According to the Ocean Institute, a study found that Los Angeles would more than likely experience a rise of at least 0.5 ft. by 2030. By the year 2100, a projected 6 ft. increase in Orange County would mean about 11-square-miles would be underwater. 

Kayla added, “We are pleased to see the impact of people becoming more aware in the community. The more informed and the more information that is available, the more we can make decisions that benefit these and other communities.”

If you missed the King Tides, you can see them again next month. The Ocean Institute will hold another Capture the King Tide Nature Walk on February 8th & 9th. For more information, click here.


Photos Courtesy: California King Tides Project