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King tides in Mapunapuna, Oahu. Credit: Hawaiʻi Sea Grant King Tides Project

In a special episode of Voice of the Sea which aired on July 23, researchers from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, outreach specialists from the University of Hawaiʻi Sea Grant College Program, and U.S. Senator Brian Schatz examined king tides and the effects of sea-level rise in Waikīkī.

Hawaiʻi was once again impacted by king tides, the highest predicted tides of the year, on July 21–22. The last king tides event on June 24 resulted in the highest water level ever recorded on the Honolulu tide gauge in 112 years of recordkeeping (apart from Hurricane Iniki in 1992).

Voice of the Sea is a half-hour television show that profiles ocean and coastal scientists and cultural experts from Hawaiʻi and the Pacific, and airs on Sundays at 6 p.m. on K5 the Home Team (Channel 5 and 1005).

Mark Merrifield from UH Mānoa explains how climate change and sea-level rise could cause these high-water level events and flooding to eventually become commonplace. Matthew Gonser and Maya Walton from the UH Sea Grant College Program highlight the Hawaiʻi and Pacific Islands King Tides Project and how citizen scientists can get involved.

The episode premiered on July 23, 2017, and a second related episode featuring more information about sea-level rise and inundation will air on Sunday, July 30.

As a signature project of the UH Sea Grant College Program’s Center for Marine Science Education, Voice of the Sea aims to inspire an interest in ocean science, and teach concepts that apply to viewers' own lives and their relationship with the ocean and planet. It presents thought-provoking information in an exciting, original way. 

For more information and to view past episodes, visit Voice of the Sea.

—By Cindy Knapman

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