Photos taken from the air during the highest tides of the year can provide a preview of what sea level rise will mean for the Bay Area. In November, Baykeeper Staff Scientist Ian Wren and photographer Robb Most went up in the air with LightHawk Conservation Flying, and got these photos.
The photos show San Francisco Bay shoreline areas that are close to high water, or even under water, during yearly high tides known as King Tides. Above, water washes onto a street along the Mill Valley shoreline.
As global climate change causes sea levels to rise, San Francisco Bay shorelines will be at greater risk of flooding and increased risk of contamination, due to water levels reaching more pollution sources.
King Tides are not caused by sea level rise; they occur when the gravitational pulls of the sun and moon reinforce one another. But photos from the air during King Tides can help identify vulnerable shoreline areas. Baykeeper is also creating San Francisco Bay Shore View, a set of “Street View” images of the San Francisco Bay shoreline. The San Francisco Bay Shore View images will be available to the public online next year. We hope the images will be useful for smart planning to protect San Francisco Bay, its wetlands, and shoreline communities.
The year’s King Tides will reappear December 22-24, 2015 and January 21-22, 2016.
Eastern Shore of San Francisco, AT&T Ballpark at right.
Bay Bridge, from East Bay facing Yerba Buena and Treasure Islands
Chevron Refinery, Richmond
Former military base, Alameda
Photos by Robb Most. Thanks to LightHawk Conservation Flying.