Residents of Hampton Roads are all too familiar with sea-level rise and the flooding that disrupts our region. On Saturday, October 27, hundreds of our region’s residents will become citizen-scientists, armed with smartphones to document high water during the year’s highest tide – dubbed “the king tide” – and help researches better forecast tidal flooding.
WHRO is hosting the region’s largest crowdsourcing event, “Catch the King,”
for the second consecutive year. Last year more than 500 volunteers used the SeaLevelRise app to trace the king tide throughout Hampton Roads. Thanks to a $16,300 grant from the Hampton Roads Community Foundation, WHRO is expanding Catch the King to include 20 area high schools to help students better understand the impact of sea-level rise.
A recent article in The Virginian-Pilot
underscored why it’s important for all Hampton Roads’ residents to understand sea-level rise. The United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has issued a warning that the world has 10 years to completely revolutionize its energy use or face a dangerous and increasingly unpredictable future. A hotter Earth will lead to rising seas as glaciers melt. Over time, the slow-motion disaster from rising seas could make neighborhoods in American cities like Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Miami and New Orleans essentially uninhabitable.
Already residents of low-lying areas are used to skirting around nuisance flooding. This often happens when the moon is full and tides climb out of what are normally peaceful scenic coves and inlets to swamp roads, driveways and yards.
Learn more about the king tide and follow the results at www.whro.org/kingtide