By Liz Hartje, DHEC Coastal Projects Manager
A new year is on the horizon, and South Carolinians who want to update their calendars with a new year of tidal information can now get the 2016 Tide Table Poster from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC).
The Tide Table Posters are produced by DHEC’s Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management (OCRM) to help citizens monitor and plan for tidal events along the coast. The tables provide daily tidal information based on National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) tide predictions, including dates and times of high tides with corresponding water levels, and dates and times of low tides.
Impacts of tides vary, but extreme high tides may wash debris and contaminants into coastal environments or cause coastal erosion and flooding. Knowing when tides occur can help South Carolina’s coastal communities and residents prepare. Tidal information also helps residents and visitors plan for recreational activities such as kayaking, boating or a trip to the beach.
Where to Get Your Tide Table Poster
Limited supplies of printed Tide Tables are available at DHEC OCRM offices in Charleston, Beaufort and Myrtle Beach. A foldable, desktop version of the chart is also available online. To learn more about the Tide Tables and to download the 2016 poster, click here.
DHEC holds its Coastal Photography Contest each year to determine the featured photograph for the new Tide Table Poster and web page. Nearly 100 photos were received during the 2015 contest, and Justin Morris was selected with his winning photo, Orange Crush, which was captured at Folly Beach. Congratulations, Justin!
The rise and fall of tides are caused by the gravitational and centrifugal forces exerted by the moon, sun and the earth. These forces produce two high tides and two low tides per day in South Carolina.
The highest seasonal tides occur when the earth, moon, and sun are aligned, and the moon is closest to the earth in its elliptical orbit, known as perigee. Often referred to as King Tides, these extreme high tides are predictable based on the known astronomical forces described above. But, it’s important to remember that meteorological conditions like onshore winds, low atmospheric pressure, and precipitation can push water inland and result in water levels that greatly exceed astronomical predictions.
King Tides Program
DHEC is leading the South Carolina King Tides initiative to document the effect that extreme tide events have on our state’s beaches, coastal waterways, private property and public infrastructure.
Through the initiative, citizen scientists can submit their photos of king tide events to help DHEC monitor and respond to coastal environmental issues. The photos are included in DHEC’s long-term analysis of coastal vulnerability and planning initiatives with municipalities.
To participate in the South Carolina King Tides Initiative, click here.