The Effect of King Tides on Key Biscayne

Much of the following information comes from a 18 September article in the Miami Herald. The article concerns the effect of ‘King Tides’ and their effect on Miami Beach. King tides are NATURAL phenomena caused by a unique alignment of the sun, moon and earth that result in extremely high tides.  This year they will arrive around October 9th and last some 3 to 4 days. High tide on Miami Beach during this event is expected to rise to nearly four feet. The article notes that low lying streets on South Beach and Sunset Harbor, for example, start to flood around three feet. Miami Beach is installing pumps to “collect, filter and push” water from events such as King tides into Biscayne Bay.  Their five-year plan to install about 60 pumps on the Beach will cost about $300 million.

The Citizen Scientist Project (CSP) of the Key Biscayne Community Foundation (KBCF) wants your help in determining the effect of these King tides on the island. We will contact local organizations with tide gauges to provide observations of the maximum high tide. We are asking the residents of the Key to report their observations of the increased sea level such as street flooding, effects on the Causeway, effects on the width of Key beaches, etc. Estimates and direct observations of the actual sea level rise will be used to develop a picture of the effect of this event on the Key.

Your data including the location of the observation, the time, the estimated or measured highest tide relative to fixed objects such as the street, sea wall, dock, etc. and any comments on the effect of the ‘King’ can be placed on CSP web site, emailed to or phoned into the KBCF office at 305.361.2770. We can only develop a detailed representation of these tides with large participation by Island residents. So put on your citizen scientist hats, measure, comment and report.