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The original item was published from November 27, 2023 1:37 PM to November 27, 2023 1:40 PM
‘Tis the season for high waters on the Puget Sound shoreline, which bring with them the opportunity for action to prevent marine pollution and build resilience on our shores.
King tides - the highest astronomical tides of the year – can exceed 15 feet in elevation on our South Sound shorelines. You may recall the king tide of Dec. 27, 2022, during which a high tide cooccurred with a low-pressure weather system, causing record-breaking water levels at tide stations throughout the South Sound. This winter, you can expect king tides Nov. 28-30, Dec. 15-17, and Jan. 14-16.
High water at the Tacoma DeMoly Sandspit Nature Preserve, Fox Island, during a 2022 king tide.
During king tide events, water can reach high onto our shoreline properties, increasing marine pollution and causing episodic erosion. We can prepare for king tides by making sure all floatable materials - like kayaks, lawn chairs, and landscaping equipment - are moved far enough away from the shoreline so they won't be washed away and become marine trash. We can also protect our properties from exacerbated erosion through conservation management practices. Proper management of upland drainage, paired with enhancement of protective native vegetation, can help mitigate risk from high water events on shorelines.
If you are interested in learning how you can take a proactive approach to protecting your property during king tides and all year round, get in touch with our Shore Friendly program, which assists marine waterfront landowners in stewarding shorelines to help protect their property and the health of Puget Sound.
You can plan ahead for high waters by tracking predicted king tides on the WA Sea Grant King Tides Calendar.
Tide washing in at Owen Beach, Point Defiance Park
The original item was published from October 6, 2023 9:21 AM to October 6, 2023 9:31 AM
Photos of salmon at South Prairie Creek Preserve
Pink salmon are running at South Prairie Creek Preserve! Our Habitat Restoration Manager, Ryan Bird, snapped these pictures last week to show off one of our favorite visitors to the preserve.
Pink salmon are a species with a two-year life cycle, and in Washington State, the runs occur on odd years. Adult pink salmon swim upstream from the ocean to spawn, typically to the same stream where they hatched. Females will dig shallow depressions in the gravel of the stream bed called “redds”, where they will deposit eggs to be fertilized by males. She will then guard her redd, usually for a few days, until her death.
The left photo shows a healthy and active-looking female at the Preserve either guarding a redd or very close to spawning. The right photo shows a female seen at the Preserve who has likely already spawned and is near the end of her life. When salmon die, they become sustenance for other species such as birds, mammals, and invertebrates. Whether their bodies stay in the stream or are brought into riparian areas by other species, they will decompose and provide vital nutrients to plants and animals residing in the ecosystem.
While normally closed to the public, we're hosting an Orca Recovery Day Event at South Prairie Creek Preserve if you want to see these salmon up close and help restore the habitat they call home. We'll also have a bird walk with a birding expert! We'd love to see you there.