Measuring Maximum Storm Water Levels in Rural Communities

Tide staff at Shishmaref on lagoon side of island, installed by Jacquelyn Overbeck with funding from the Alaska Ocean Observing Systems in conjunction with the Alaska Institute for Justice.

Tide staff at Golovin, near low lying part of town subject to flooding.

The summer of 2017 was used to install tide staffs at communities throughout western Alaska. The Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys worked collaboratively with local tribes and cities, as well as Alaska Sea Grant, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Alaska Institute for Justice, Bristol Bay Native Association, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Tide staffs are a simple tool (fiberglass or metal staff with marked elevations) used to document how high water can get. The tide staffs were installed and surveyed on infrastructure in low lying areas of communities, so that when or if a high water event were to occur, local environmental program staff could measure the height of flooding.

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