Portland Maine King Tides Trail
King Tides are exceptionally high tides that occur when the gravitational pull of the sun and moon reinforce one another. As sea level rises, routine high tides could reach the level of today's King Tides. Maine's sea level is projected to rise at least 2-3 feet over the next century and could go higher. Parts of Portland that were built on former tidal marshes are already subject to flooding.
In December 2014 the Portland Maine King Tides Trail was created and marked by a temporary installation designed by University of Southern Maine faculty and students. The installation was supported by the Limulus Fund at the Maine Community Foundation through the Gulf of Maine Council on the Maine Environmental Climate Network. The project grew out of Envisioning Change, a research project funded through the Maine Economic Improvement Fund.
Red marking whiskers outlined where the water will reach if sea level rises 3 feet higher than the 2014 highest annual tide. Blue solar powered beacons marked the way to sites where tidal changes can be easily observed. Specially designed circular graphics were placed on the pavement to mark the sites.
In addition to the installation, an interactive map was created and can be accessed via mobile device or computer.
The King Tides Trail installation was approved by the City of Portland's Student Art Review Committee and permitted by the City of Portland. It was on view from December 08, 2014 to January 23, 2015.
Student Participants: Nicholas Barter, Nathan Broaddus, Amber Desrosiers, Marina Douglas, William Freeman, Ken Gross, Emma Hazzard, Richard Hudon, Abigail Johnson-Ruscansky, Ryan Jordan, Kristyn Peterson, Caitlin Puchalski, Samantha Quimby, Lisa Willey, Mike Witherell
Faulty Advisor: Jan Piribeck
Special thanks to:
Marina Schauffler, Gulf of Maine King Tides Project
Ted Musgrave, City of Portland Public Services
Alice Spencer and Lin Lisberger, Portland Public Art Committee