San Diego County CA–King tides, some of the highest tides of the year, hit San Diego this week, and the area’s wetlands will soak those rising tides like a sponge. Recently, San Diego Coastkeeper released time-lapse footage of December’s king tide turning the Kendall-Frost Mission Bay Marsh from a muddy field into a flowing wetlands. The goal, says Coastkeeper, is to showcase how San Diego’s undeveloped coastal areas play a critical role in protecting existing infrastructure, especially given that this week’s king tides will eventually be the new normal.
California has lost 90 percent of its wetlands to development, but according to The San Diego Foundation’s Regional Focus 2050 Study, increases in sea level in San Diego could be 12 – 18 inches by 2050. Given that the average king tide is 5 – 8 inches higher than the average high tide, this week’s sea levels could be the new normal in San Diego.
“San Diego’s remaining wetlands play a vital role in keeping this week’s king tides at bay,” said Travis Pritchard, program manager for Coastkeeper. “And this also gives us a crucial look at how future development in the region should protect them and plan more sustainably for sea level rise.”
Where key wetlands are in San Diego County to observe rising tides:
- Tijuana River Valley
- San Diego Bay Wildlife Refuge Complex
- San Diego Bay Wildlife Refuge
- Paradise Point
- San Diego River Estuary
- Famosa Slough
- Kendall-Frost Marsh
- Los Penasquitos Lagoon
- San Dieguito Lagoon
- San Elijo Lagoon
- Batiquitos Lagoon
- San Luis Rey Estuary
- 90% of California’s wetlands have already been lost to development
- King tides on Jan. 19 – 21 are 5 – 8 inches higher than normal tides
- 2050 average tides will be 12-18 inches higher than our tides today
- The California Climate Change Center predicts nearly 140 schools, 34 police and fire stations, and 350,000 miles of road are at risk in California from rising sea levels.
The California King Tides Initiative is asking residents throughout the state to photograph the king tides, making sure to capture the homes, harbors, and other infrastructure, as well as beaches, wetlands and public access to the coast that may be affected by rising sea levels. Photos can be submitted to http://www.flickr.com/groups/cakingtides. Contact Sara Aminzadeh (firstname.lastname@example.org) to talk about this specific statewide community initiative.