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Newport News Now

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Newport News Now is a daily e-newsletter that launched in March 2016. Articles that ran in our newsletter between March 2016 and March 2018 are available on these pages. Newsletters produced beginning in April 2018 can be viewed on our new daily newsletter page.

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Sep 29

Calling All Hampton Roads Residents to Help Catch the King Tide

Posted on September 29, 2017 at 9:16 AM by Daniel Kvaternik

A busy year of hurricanes serves as a reminder of how vulnerable Hampton Roads is to tidal flooding. High water riled by storms has flooded streets in many parts of the region. In the midst of the latest wave of flooding, four Hampton Roads media organizations have launched a citizen-science crowdsourcing project called “Catch the King” and are asking for your help!
king tide
The goal is to gather an army of citizens on Sunday, November 5, to go out into neighborhoods and worksites and document just how far the tide reaches using smartphones to record GPS coordinates of this year’s ”King Tide.” A “King Tide” is the highest predicted tide of the year, if only the gravitational effects of the earth, sun, moon are taken into account. Measuring it is useful to scientists, emergency planners and others because it’s seen as a harbinger of times to come. The information gathered by citizens goes into a database that will improve scientists’ understanding of the region’s risk from tidal flooding. 

The Virginian-Pilot, the Daily Press, WHRO Public Media and WVEC-TV are partnering up to share the story of this project. The group is working with the Norfolk-based nonprofit group Wetlands Watch, which has a phone app that is the technology backbone of the effort. WHRO is developing lesson plans to distribute to science teams throughout the region in conjunction with the project. 

Derek Loftis, an assistant research professor at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, is the chief science liaison for Catch the King. His work is supported by the Commonwealth Center for Recurrent Flooding Resiliency, a partnership between VIMS, Old Dominion University, and the Virginia Coastal Policy Center at the College of William & Mary’s Law School.       

More information and a registration form are available at Once participants have registered, a volunteer coordinator will be in touch with specific details.