Raymond king tide event meant as education on sea level rise

To highlight the impacts of sea level rise and how it could affect coastal communities in the future, several organizations will host an extreme-high tides “viewing party” in Raymond Jan. 22. Held at the Willapa Landing Park, the free public event, called “Experience King Tides,” is an opportunity for the public to learn about king tides — the higher than usual tides that occur when the moon is closest to the Earth — as well as sea level rise.

Presented by Washington Sea Grant, the Nature Conservancy and Surfrider Foundation, there will be a few different educational stations where people can learn about king tides and what the future of tides in Western Washington could be with rising sea levels. The event runs from 12:30 to 3 p.m., with high tide happening at 1:53 p.m.

Attendees are encouraged explore the park’s shoreline during the high tide, and visitors can see a birds eye view of the high water, thanks to Surfrider’s LightHawk plane. Weather permitting, the small aircraft will film the high water along Southwest Washington’s coast with a GoPro camera. Some elected officials who attend might be taken up in the plane to view the high tides.

King tide viewing parties have been held by Sea Grant for several years around the Puget Sound, but this is the first time an event like this has been held in Raymond. Coffee and snacks will also be provided at the event, which is free to the public.

“The King Tides program assists scientists, managers, planners and communities as they attempt to visualize and plan for the changes coming to coastal regions around Western Washington,” according to the viewing party press release. “The program is a partnership between Sea Grant and Washington Department of Ecology. With the Nature Conservancy and other organizations in Washington, Sea Grant and Ecology have also produced new sea level projections for the state’s coastline and are collaborating with local jurisdictions to help prepare for future sea level rise.”