Help document changing sea levels in the East Bay --

Share your photos with the King Tides Initiative

Sea level rise due to climate change  is projected to profoundly affect San Francisco Bay. While no one knows how great or how rapid the change will be, our current highest tides give us some insight into the likely "new normal" in this century. High tides and storms will push water levels higher still. With homes, industries, roads, bridges, pipelines, airports, sewage-treatment plants, landfills with buried toxics, and wildlife refuges lying low and close along the Bay, we need to plan and begin to adapt. 

The California King Tides Initiative encourages members of the public to document the highest seasonal tides, or "king tides" -- tides that occur when the full or new moon aligns with the sun to maximize their pull on ocean waters. These citizen-science efforts are multiplying on both sides of the Pacific Ocean. Please consider contributing photos!

By uploading photos, along with information on when and where they were taken, to the King Tides Initiative Flickr Group, you can help visualize the effects of rising waters, create a record of ongoing processes, and provide images useful to environmental groups, agencies, scientists, and the public. So if you like photography and nature, bring your camera to local shorelines during these high tides. Storms will bring the highest water levels and dramatic waves, but the initiative also needs quiet documentary photos -- along with low-tide reference shots if convenient. Look for photos that make it possible to gauge water levels against some reference, such as a road, bridge, or large rocks. You can see some Friends of Five Creeks photos here.

For times, check online tide charts or use information on the California King Tides Initiative web site, where you'll also find detailed information on planning your shoot, uploading photos, and more.

Here are just a few possibilities along the East Bay shoreline, from North to South. Please email us at with more suggestions!

  • The new loop trail around the West Contra Costa landfill, adjacent to the low-lying Richmond sewage treatment plant.
  • Marshes along lower Wildcat Creek west of Richmond Parkway, and the (flooded) tunnel under the parkway.
  • The end of Sandpiper Spit road in the Brickyard Cove area, Richmond.
  • The southern shoreline of  Marina Bay between Vincent and Shimada Parks, Richmond.

  • The tidal channel along the north edge of Pacific East Mall, 3288 Pierce St., Richmond, and, on the south edge of the mall, Cerrito Creek from Pierce Street upstream through Creekside Park, on the border between Richmond/El Cerrito and Albany.  

  • The marshes and pipes at the mouths of Marin and Codornices Creeks, Albany, north of Buchanan Street west of the I-880 Freeway.

  • The mouths of Schoolhouse and Strawberry Creeks, Berkeley (Virginia Extension and south of University Avenue).

  • The Oakland Estuary, between Oakland and Alameda 

  • "Radio Beach" along the north edge of the Bay Bridge approach.