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County of Monroe

The Florida Keys

Mayor Sylvia J. Murphy, District 5
Mayor Pro Tem, Danny L. Kolhage, District 1
George Neugent, District 2
Heather Carruthers, District 3
David Rice, District 4

For Immediate Release:
September 22, 2014

Rhonda Haag,
Sustainability Program Manager
Monroe County
Bus: (305) 453-8774 or Cell (305) 395-9928

King Tide Photo Challenge September-October 2014

Local Governments Need You to Help Document How Sea Level Rise will Impact the Keys 

Monroe County, Florida Via smartphones and social media, the public is invited to document “king tides” – the highest high tides of the year, which will be the average water levels of the future.  The pictures that you take now will help our local government better plan for future flood risks, and give you a way to participate directly in the science that will drive decisions in your community.  Everyone is welcomed to participate!

For most of September and October, the “regular” high tides in the Keys will reach new heights. Normal, cyclical events will add to current sea level rise and produce flooding of areas within ~2.5 feet of sea level.  On October 8th and 9th, the high tides will reach 2-feet twice in the same day.  Here are the high tides to watch in Key Largo, Marathon, and Key West:  

Key Largo (Rock Harbor) - October 8, 9:26 a.m. and 9:42 p.m. 
Key Largo (Rock Harbor) – October 9, 10:15 a.m. and 10:29 p.m.

Marathon - October 8, 10:30 a.m. and 10:20 p.m.
Marathon – October 9, 11:17 a.m. and 10:58 p.m. 

Key West – October 8, 10:40 a.m. and 10:30 p.m.
Key West - October 9, 11:27 a.m. and 11:08 pm.

King Tide images offer a living record of the changes to our coasts and shorelines and a glimpse of what our daily tides may look like in the future as a result of sea level rise. The Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact Counties, consisting of Monroe, Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach, are planning for an additional 3-7 inches of sea level rise by 2030 and 9-24 inches by 2060, based on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports.

Building a photographic library of how local communities are already experiencing flooding due to natural events, such as high tides, is an important step to learning more about, and then helping, areas that are especially vulnerable.  Here is how you can help:

1) Pick Your Site(s): We want photos from all over the Keys!  It is important to choose a site that is both low and recognizable as a “usually above ground” spot.  Especially important are areas near your neighborhood that most people might not know about.  Please take photos of both “with high tide” and “without high tide,” so we can showcase the difference for people not familiar with your area.

2) Time Your Tide: It is important to be there at the highest tide for the best photo.  Once you have chosen your area, check the tide chart for the right time for your area (high tide time can vary by up to an hour depending on where your site is located).  

3) Send It In: Email your best photos to or go to to post directly and engage with us on our interactive sustainability and sea level rise website. We will web-post the best shots on our Flickr site, our GreenKeys site and use them to help develop our adaptation strategies.  We may even use some in our new GreenKeys! Plan.  All high tide photos submitted to the cause will become the property of Monroe County, with full credit to the photographers.  See Past Photos Here.

King Tides photo contests began in Queensland, Australia in 2009 and are now held in at least 3 countries and 10 U.S. states.  King Tides are not related to climate change and are not sea level rise. The term ‘king tide’ is a non-scientific term used to describe naturally occurring, exceptionally high tides that take place when the sun and moon’s gravitational pull align making the oceans "bulge." 


Monroe County
1100 Simonton Street
Key West FL, 33040