Cambrian: Opinion

Curious about ‘king tides’ in Cambria? Greenspace will explain its effect at live event

King Tides are the highest tides of the year. Greenspace - The Cambria Land Trust invites you to join with other Cambrians to photograph how high the tide comes, and join with other Californians by sharing your photos with the Coastal Commission.

In Cambria, the highest tides are at about 8:30 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 20 and 9:30 a.m. Monday, Jan. 21.

Choose a place along the coast and take your pictures in the two hours before or two hours after high tide. Let’s document the effects of high tides all along our Central Coast coastline.

Starting at the Shamel Park Gazebo at 9 a.m., Sunday, Greenspace will help you find the best place to see the high tide, and advise on submitting photos through the Coastal Commission website. Greenspace will also award prizes to the best local photos.

Robert Rodger of the SLO chapter of the Citizens Climate Lobby will be there to explain the connection between climate change and these high tides. San Francisco is projected to see a rise in sea level between 1.1 and 2.7 feet by 2050.

You can also join California State Parks from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Monday on its Facebook page for a King Tides live stream as they visit six state parks from Laguna Beach to Humboldt.

High tides and waves are dangerous. Remember to be safe. Be careful walking on slippery rocks. Don’t turn your back on the ocean. Always be conscious of your surroundings and the weather conditions.

Areas subject to flooding during high tides can make powerful photo images. 

Harvey Street access in Marine Terrace, Santa Rosa Creek lagoon, Moonstone Beach boardwalk, Leffingwell Creek at Leffingwell Landing, San Simeon Creek lagoon, San Simeon Creek Road up to the CSD’s Emergency Water Plant, area in front of San Simeon’s Wastewater Treatment Plant, which has applied for permits to improve the riprap that protects it from the waves, and the Piedras Blancas elephant seal viewpoint are some places that will give dramatic views of high (and low) tides.

Places where high water levels can be gauged against familiar landmarks make good photos, such as Shamel Park, the pedestrian bridge in San Simeon campgrounds and the Piedras Blancas lighthouse.

Travel north along Highway 1 for other scenic spots, such as Cappuccino Cove and Ragged Point.

Look for erosion, wave action and places where the high water endangers walkways and lookouts. Consider how your photo can showcase the relationship between surf action and development and infrastructure.

Thank you, citizen scientists! Learn more at or contact Greenspace at or 

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