The Northern Neck Master Gardeners participated in Virginia’s “Catch the King” tide program on Saturday, October 29. The program uses citizen-science to aid in GPS flood data collection throughout coastal Virginia.
“Tide mappers do not need special knowledge to join the Catch the King effort,” said Mary Turville, Northern Neck Master Gardeners’ Shoreline Evaluation Program (SEP) coordinator. “They just need to register, download the application, and attend a training session to learn how to trace their steps along the flood line as a series of data points. It really is quite an experience!”
Led by tide captains from the Northern Neck Master Gardeners, mappers were trained in Westmoreland County by Jeff Evans, Northumberland County by Mary Turville, Lancaster County by Ian Cheyne, and Richmond and Essex counties by Carol Martin.
This year, a total of 130 mappers from the Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula earned the distinction of providing the most data points of any region along Virginia’s coastline. Mapping events were held at Windmill Point, Hughlett Point, Tappahannock, Colonial Beach, and other locations around the Northern Neck.
“It was a beautiful day to walk along the shoreline and collect data to help our communities better prepare for significant floods caused by heavy rainfall and high tides from nor’easters and hurricanes,” Turville said.
Data gathered provides scientists at the Virginia Institute for Marine Science (VIMS) with tidal data collected from different locations around Virginia’s coastline. The program’s objective is to map the king tide’s maximum inundation to validate and improve models for future forecasting of increasingly pervasive “nuisance” flooding. The Guinness Book of World Records has recognized the program as the world’s largest environmental survey.
Information about the program will be available at Northern Neck Master
Gardeners’ displays at farmers markets and other community events throughout the Northern Neck in 2023. Visit nnmg.org for more information.
Founded in 1989, the Northern Neck Master Gardener Association is a not-for-profit organization. Its purpose is to promote and serve the Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) Master Gardener Program in cooperation with the Lancaster, Northumberland, Richmond, and Westmoreland County Extension Offices in fulfilling the educational mission of VCE.
Virginia Cooperative Extension is a partnership of Virginia Tech, Virginia State University, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and local governments. Its programs and employment are open to all, regardless of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, military status, or any other basis protected by law.