Seasonal High Tides Allow Coastkeeper to Show Impact of Rising Sea Level

by on February 6, 2012 · 4 comments

in California, Environment, San Diego

Media Invited on Coastkeeper’s Boat to Tour “King Tides” Tuesday Feb. 7

Last of seasonal high tides to demonstrate potential impacts of sea level rise

SAN DIEGO, Feb. 6, 2012 – On Feb. 7, some of the year’s highest tides will breach San Diego’s shorelines, providing a glimpse of what the region can expect as sea levels rise in the coming years.

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.

The king tides on Monday, Feb. 6 through Wednesday, Feb. 8 are predicted to raise water levels five to eight inches above normal.

San Diego Coastkeeper and Tijuana River National Estuarine Reserve invite media for a boat tour of the San Diego Bay to learn more about sea level rise in San Diego and how king tides demonstrate potential impacts.

What: Explore San Diego Bay on San Diego Coastkeeper’s boat during the king tides to see how climate change and sea level rise could affect San Diego’s coastline. Speak with Coastkeeper’s scientist and coastal training program coordinator from Tijuana River National Estuarine Reserve about potential impacts to the community and the importance of protecting the coastline starting now.

Who: San Diego Coastkeeper scientist Travis Pritchard and Tijuana River National Estuarine Reserve’s Coastal Training Program Coordinator Kristen Goodrich.

When: The king tides will occur on Feb. 6, 7, and 8 in the morning.

The tour is on Tuesday, Feb. 7 at 7 a.m.

Where: The tour will leave from the Kona Kai Marina (1561 Shelter Island Drive, San Diego, CA) on Shelter Island. Boat tour will travel through various locations in San Diego Bay that highlight the impact of sea level rise. Media must RSVP with San Diego Coastkeeper (Jamie: 619-758-7743 x101 or at to get a ride on the boat.

Why: The communities of San Diego were mostly built with the thought that our coastline was a stable landform that wouldn’t change. With the threat of climate change and associated sea level rise looming, it’s vital that we understand how a higher sea level can affect us. The rare king tide events offer a glimpse into what impacts will occur with higher sea levels.

Also, local environmental organizations are working within a statewide project to have volunteers in San Diego County document this winter’s highest tides. Statewide, the organizations will use the photography to help policymakers visualize projected impacts from rising sea levels and take action to protect homes, harbors, airports, and other key infrastructure as well as wetlands, beaches, and public access to the coast. Residents can learn more at and are encouraged to get out their cameras each morning and help capture sea level rise impacts by submitting photos, along with their contact information, photo location, orientation, and date and time of day, directly to the California King Tide page at The organizations advise residents to take extra precautions when walking on slipper areas or near big waves and to be aware of the surroundings and the weather conditions.

About San Diego Coastkeeper

Founded in 1995, San Diego Coastkeeper protects the region’s inland and coastal waters for the communities and wildlife that depend on them by blending education, community empowerment, and advocacy. For more information,





{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

JEC February 7, 2012 at 8:48 am

The San Diego Foundation’s report as well as the City’s Climate Mitigation Adaption Plan (CMAP) currently in process are both based on 2007 data. The Durban Conference on the Environment in early December provided new up to date data. The forecast for 2100 has been adjusted from a 2 foot rise to a 6 foot rise. But it’s the timing; how long to rise? Geologist Harold Wanless of the U. of Miami reported that the geological record shows ocean levels increase in rapid pulses – in the range of 20 feet – and over decades not centuries. The 2007 assume only thermal expansion of the oceans. Scientists are now observing large rapid melts occuring in the Antartic. The Pine Island Glacier, the largest in Western Antartic, is now moving at a speed of a foot an hour – 24 feet a day – it gives a new definition to glacial speed. Furthermore, four Antartic glaciers appear to be hold back a volume of fresh water equal to Lake Superior. In the warming climate these glacial ice-dams will eventually give way. Four ice dams are considered likely candidates to fail within the next 24 months. If the four fail in the same period – say a week or two – the estimates are ocean levels would increase 14 – 16 inches within 60-90 days. The good news, the Planet’s nations reached agreement at Durban. A first. Vulnerable countries have been advised to relocate important infrastructure to higher ground. Consider what just 2 feet will do to San Diego; but to California it will likely shut down the water intakes in the delta. Desaliation may be our only option.


john February 7, 2012 at 6:35 pm

It would e a lot easier to accept climate change mitigation policy if it weren’t for the sordid, convoluted activities of the UN’s IPCC and related programs which slyly insert terms like “climate justice” and “carbon equity”, hinting at the true nature of its agenda: Global Socialism.
That shouldn’t be a mystery, after all aren’t these the people whose mission has always been to go into areas with masses of the impoverished, and bring them clean running water, hospitals, paved roads, electricity, and modern infrastructure to improve their lives? They’ve now taken on the equally noble task of saving us all from global warming, a winning combination, right?
What is the alleged cause of climate change? Human industrial activity. What do you do when you improve living standards for the third world? You’re industrializing them. Huge population masses, and corporations go in and set up factories and profit from both their consumption of goods and their ability to produce them for others.
This is a hell of a contradiction.
One of the primary actions sold to “solve” the problem was Kyoto, and since its implementation in 1998 total global greenhouse emissi0ns have not only soared, but the rate of their rise has increased as well. Yet AGW alarmists seem unconcerned, even saying Kyoto would have worked better but the US wasn’t signatory.
That is some very bizarre logic considering:
The US saw its carbon output more or less leveling off in this peri0d while that of Kyoto non annex one nations soared to preposterous levels.
So the very people who claim they are trying to save the planet are actually working overtime to hasten its destructi0n, and most people are blindly trusting them, thinking “doing something must be better than doing nothing”. Don’t bet on it.
What’s the motivation here? I can’t really say and there are so many factions involved including greed (Al Gore has made millions, corporations like Siemens who fund AGW research are aligning themselves to profit from carbon trading) you can’t blame any one thing but it’s mostly human stupidity caused by thinking with your heart and not your head. Many approach environmentalism with religious fever. Others feel deep shame over the prosperous lifestyle of the west over the third world masses. Combining the two would be even more confusing.
I know this will hit home with a lot of people here and I don’t mean to insult but if you take it “to heart” maybe it’s dead on? Just ask yourself how do you stop a problem you’re blaming on human industrialization at the same time you’re industrializing billions more humans?
I hope the real reason isn’t that the near future looks like the world will be a filthy stinking cesspool for all and they wanted it that way just so they could say “we told you so!”.


JEC February 8, 2012 at 9:33 am

John – seems hard to keep an eye on the ball – global socialism? Your reference to Kyoto could be intrepreted as saying Kyoto was too weak – didn’t go far enough. But check out what happened at Durban – those developing nations such as India and China no longer are standing back insisting on some type of equity. But in the end you ( me / we) are all either part of the problem by refusing to cooperate or part of the solution by working with each other. Do let the good be a victim of the perfect.


john February 8, 2012 at 4:15 pm

Yours is a predictable reply I see when I raise this issue, albeit more diplomatic and thoughtful than most. I think the problem I’m getting at isn’t lost on you when you mention India and China, though in the end it seems your sentiment is to jump on the AGW bandwagon, give those driving it our blind support (because, hey, it’s the UN and Scientists, they must know what they are doing and are free from human fault) and if what they have been doing hasn’t worked well we should shout down anyone questioning them and do MORE of what they’ve been doing. Kyoto wasn’t enough, we need Kyoto.2xtreme.
At least you didn’t misinterpret my sentiments and accuse me of working for oil companies.
I’m all for doing something about this problem but the reality is there’s too many convoluted and contradictory agendas within those advising and implementing the policies and others looking to exploit these dilemmas every step of the way. With the intellectual property transfers to Asia (manufacturing know how) and the global information revolution, the whole thing may be impossible to easily curtail, because billions who were once in the dark now know how we live.
It’s too big to discuss all aspects but I’ll comment on the “Kyoto didn’t go far enough” thing. Kyoto of course placed demands on industrialized or so called “annex 1” nations to pledge to reduce their carbon output. The developing or “non annex 1” nations had no such pledges required, some of the worst offenders like China were somewhat prodded into looking at reductions in the future. The result was a flow of capital by corporations into the non annex 1 nations to set up factories and infrastructure free of encumbrance of having to reduce GGE. Worse, corrupt governments are a hallmark of impoverished nations, so when significant corporate operations move from here to there, be it manufacturing, transport, storage, whatever, these corporations are free to spread conventional pollution they couldn’t get away with here by paying corrupt local politicians to look the other way.
That may be the most worrisome aspect to me. I am fairly convinced the planet is warming, that man may have a role in it but it’s likely second to solar variance which has scientists backing that but they’ve been shouted down by some colleagues- lots of politics in there. Many said “let’s do something now, and if the science is wrong that’s okay because doing something is win-win.”. However if 40 years go by of foolish policies industrializing the whole planet closer to our lifestyle it’s a self fulfilling prophecy of doom, and conventional pollution will soar.
It’s very difficult to choose what to do by mere personal ethics. Is it wrong for the UN to use its programs to bring clean drinking water, electricity, hospitals, etc, to the third world masses? Obviously not, but every aspect of that only brings a larger population than the industrialized or “haves” into the carbon producing lifestyle the “have” minority used to exclusively lead-and bizarrely lowering their infant mortality rate only worsens the problem.
So I guess I’m really warning against misguided activism, and on that I often use the example of “shipbreaking”. We’ve all heard about that debacle, right, and what a tragedy it’s been for the coastal fishing villages in Bangladesh and surrounding areas. What is behind that? Environmental activists, if you can believe. After the Exxon Valdez incident, European Green groups got together and hastily pushed through legislation in the EU demanding a virtual (in that it was too ambitious) overnight ban on single hulled tankers in all European ports. What it did was render 2500+ hulls obsolete and overwhelmed the world’s legitimate shipyards. The owners can’t just abandon these ships so they did what they had to do.
I imagine these European activists sleep well at night, feeling they “made a difference doing something for the environment” but to prevent a possible disaster that may have happened, they absolutely created hundreds of them that already have. They don’t see what they caused nor do they suffer its effects, and surely pretend they weren’t at least partly responsible.
When the cause becomes global in scope, there isn’t going to be that kind of detachment from one’s mistaken actions in advocacy.


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