Catch the King is a citizen-science volunteer effort in its 4th year in 2020, centered on GPS flood extent data collection using the Free "Sea Level Rise App" (iOS and Android) to help validate VIMS' hydrodynamic models in coastal Virginia. In its inaugural year, Catch the King garnered the support of 722 individual volunteers who directly surveyed 59,718 GPS-reported high water marks during a king tide flood event over 6 hours on Nov. 5, 2017, across the U.S. East Coast. As a result, the effort was recognized by Guinness World Records for having the most contributions to an environmental survey.
With consideration towards minimizing the spread of COVID-19, like many volunteer programs, Catch the King will not be offering any in-person training events at public parks and schools around Hampton Roads, as we have done on average 25-35 times annually in the years past. Instead, training videos will be shared via YouTube app interface tutorials through the fall within the "Help Catch the King Tide" public Facebook Group. While this year is not likely to be a growth year, we hope to cover as many areas in Hampton Roads while surveying places throughout tidewater Virginia, as VIMS' Center for Coastal Resources Management has expanded their Tidewatch 36-hr storm tide forecast map to cover all of coastal Virginia in early 2019! Your data from Catch the King helped validate the accuracy of this model in 2017 and 2018 in Hampton Roads sufficiently to release the model's forecasts throughout the Coastal Commonwealth in 2019 and beyond!
In 2020, Catch the King took place on Sunday, October 18, during the highest astronomical tide of the year, which was 3.59 ft. above MLLW at 10:53 AM at Sewells Point in Norfolk, VA. Leading up to then, citizen scientists mapped three of the highest astronomical tides of the year, occurring at the end of August, September, and October, and will likely plan virtual user training events around them. This year's VA fall tidal flooding calendar is featured below to provide more specifics on each tidal flooding event. Please download and save this 2020 Virginia Fall Tidal Flooding Calendar (Interactive PDF) for your reference:
You can click on a green highlighted King Tide period in the calendar or using this page's tabs (mobile interface) or the left sidebar menu (desktop) to learn more about that period's predicted astronomical tidal peaks and troughs for an area in Virginia near you.