Citizen Science Water-Level Monitoring

Interested in contributing to coastal science? We are looking for citizen scientists to help us monitor water levels all across the coast of NC!

WHAT?

With funding from North Carolina Sea Grant and Carolinas Integrated Sciences and Assessments, the NCKT Project will expand to include water-level monitoring, conducted by trained citizen scientists using gauging stations.  The NCKT Team is collaborating with coastal members of the North Carolina Association of Floodplain Managers who will provide guidance on where records of water levels are most needed. A UNC-Chapel Hill Institute of Marine Sciences team will furnish and install water-level monitoring materials, provide training and continued support for participants, and serve as a conduit facilitating information exchange between citizen scientists, coastal zone managers, and researchers.  Citizen scientists can easily submit their measurements using the What’s your water level? App Water Level Reporter webpage as shown on the right.

WHY?

Currently, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)  has six water level stations and the NC Emergency Management (NCEM) has six additional stations along the North Carolina coast.  As high water-level events become increasingly common and coastal areas experience more frequent nuisance flooding, there is a growing need for more spatially explicit water-level data throughout our estuaries.

 

In North Carolina, the intermingling of natural forces including astronomical tides and wind can lead to very high or very low water levels and can make predicting water levels a difficult task, especially on a local scale. The water-level data contributed by this project are both spatially and temporally specific, collectively facilitating the opportunity for analysis and synthesis and a more holistic understanding of water-level patterns throughout coastal North Carolina.  By monitoring and reporting water levels, citizen scientists make important contributions to the communities in which they live, providing information essential for the proactive planning and policy decisions made by local officials and coastal zone managers.  Such measures are needed for building coastal resilience to protect coastal property, habitats, and the ecosystem services each provides.

WHEN?            

This effort is set to begin fall of 2017.

WHERE?

Our goal is to have at least one water level station in each of the 20 NC coastal counties protected by the NC Coastal Area Management Act: Beaufort, Bertie, Brunswick, Camden, Carteret, Chowan, Craven, Currituck, Dare, Gates, Hertford, Hyde, New Hanover, Onslow, Pamlico, Pasquotank, Pender, Perquimans, Tyrell and Washington Counties.

WHO?

Who better to collect data than the citizens who live in our coastal counties and have an intimate understanding about what drives local water levels?  Participants in this project should readily have access to estuarine waters (rivers, sounds, bays, canals, etc.) and need to be able to collect a minimum of one reading from their water-level station each week.  Water level gauges must be affixed to a vertically stable structure such as a dock, piling, or bulkhead that captures the full tidal range.  We welcome participation from private citizens or from community groups including homeowner associations, residential developments, environmental groups, schools/universities, etc.

HOW?

If you would like to get involved, want more information or have any questions, please email North Carolina King Tides at nckingtides@gmail.com.

Floating Dowel Gauge                      Staff Gauge
The benchmark staff at Big Rock Landing in Morehead City, NC during low tide (left) and high tide (right).
Pine Knoll Shores – Carteret County, NC

Installed: September 14, 2017

This staff measures the depth of the water relative to the bottom in inches.

 

Jacksonville – Onslow County, NC

Installed: September 14, 2017

This floating dowel gauge measures the depth of the water relative to NAVD88.

 

Edenton – Chowan County, NC

Installed: November 29, 2017

This floating dowel gauge measures the depth of the water relative to NAVD88.

 

Wrighstville Beach – New Hanover County, NC

Installed: March 1, 2018

This staff measures the depth of the water relative to the bottom in inches.

 

 

Belhaven – Hyde County, NC

Installed: March 15, 2018

This staff measures the depth of the water relative to the bottom in inches.

 

Big Rock Landing: Morehead City – Carteret County, NC

Installed: October 4, 2017

Coordinates: 34.719735, -76.712167

Staff measurements show depth of water relative to the bottom in inches. “NAVD” marks 0 relative to NAVD88 according to NGS survey benchmark DJ9298.

When visiting this station, take photos of the staff and the surrounding area. Then submit the photos and report the water level on the Water Level Reporter GeoForm.



 

Carolina Beach Town Marina – New Hanover County, NC

Installed: March 6, 2018

Coordinates: 34.03656, -77.89274

This staff measures the depth of the water relative to the bottom in inches.

When visiting this station, take photos of the staff and the surrounding area. Then submit the photos and report the water level on the Water Level Reporter GeoForm.



 

Carolina Beach State Park Marina – New Hanover County, NC

Installed: March 7, 2018

Coordinates: 34.04987, -77.91916

This staff measures the depth of the water relative to the bottom in inches.

When visiting this station, take photos of the staff and the surrounding area. Then submit the photos and report the water level on the Water Level Reporter GeoForm.



 

Carolina Beach: Sandpiper Lane – New Hanover County, NC

Installed: March 6, 2018

Coordinates: 34.04494, -77.88873

This staff measures street flooding at the intersection of Canal Drive and Sandpiper Lane. When high water-level events occur, water from the canal tends to come up through the storm drain, causing nuisance flooding in the road.

When visiting this station, take photos of the staff and the surrounding area. Then submit the photos and report the water level on the Water Level Reporter GeoForm.




North Carolina Estuarium: Washington – Beaufort County, NC

Installed: April 18, 2018

Coordinates: 35.539570, -77.054070

This staff measures the depth of the water relative to the bottom in inches.

When visiting this station, take photos of the staff and the surrounding area. Then submit the photos and report the water level on the Water Level Reporter GeoForm.

 


Oriental – Pamlico County, NC

Installed: May 3, 2018

Coordinates: 35.02493, -76.69555

This staff measures the depth of the water relative to the bottom in inches.

When visiting this station, take photos of the staff and the surrounding area. Then submit the photos and report the water level on the Water Level Reporter GeoForm.

Audubon Pine Island Sanctuary and Center – Currituck County, NC

Installed: June 19, 2018

Coordinates: 36.258141, -75.795624

This staff measures the depth of the water relative to the bottom in inches.

When visiting this station, take photos of the staff and the surrounding area. Then submit the photos and report the water level on the Water Level Reporter GeoForm.


Kitty Hawk Woods Reserve – Dare County, NC

Installed: June 19, 2018

Coordinates: 36.064380, -75.723585

This staff measures the depth of the water relative to the bottom in inches.

When visiting this station, take photos of the staff and the surrounding area. Then submit the photos and report the water level on the Water Level Reporter GeoForm.

 

 

Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education – Currituck County, NC

Installed: June 20, 2018

Coordinates: 36.2374306, -75.833201

This staff measures the depth of the water relative to the bottom in inches.

When visiting this station, take photos of the staff and the surrounding area. Then submit the photos and report the water level on the Water Level Reporter GeoForm.