Sea Level Rise Visualization Events

Photo Credit: Robert Most, SFO Airport.

Big solutions to big problems start in your community. Visualization events build awareness about sea level rise to preserve the things that make San Mateo County a place to be proud of, a place to call home.

King Tides and Coffee Events

Experience what future flooding risks could look like in the County and learn about projects underway to reduce sea level rise impacts.

What are King Tides?    King Tides are especially high tide events that occur when the sun and moon align, causing an increased gravitational pull on the Earth’s oceans. This  bi-yearly phenomena, occurring around January and July, offers a window into the future to show what sea levels could look like every day with about one foot of sea level rise.

Become a Citizen Scientist:   Snap photos of flooding events to document sea level rise as a citizen scientist. Email your photos to For safety tips and how to plan your shoot, visit:

Congratulations to the 2018 winners Neumann, Canniffee, and Wheeler of the Snap the Tide, See the Future Photo Contest! (Photos above)

Shrinking Shores

The Shrinking Shores event is a way to experience and consider the effects of higher sea levels on the people, places and services that our communities support, and that all of our County relies on.   City and County staff provide information about sea level rise, answer questions, and discuss the science behind the predicted changes.


Poplar Beach, June 2017 and 2018 (Left and Middle) and Coyote Point Park, September 2017 (Right)

Look Ahead – San Mateo

In August 2016, the County of San Mateo, Climate Access, and Owlized launched the Look ­Ahead – San Mateo campaign installing a virtual reality viewfinder at Coyote Point Recreation Area where people could see first-hand what sea level rise might mean, and what some of the potential responses might look like. This project aimed at:

  • Increasing community members’ understanding of sea level rise risk
  • Capturing community members’ level of concern about current flood risk
  • Inspiring community to take action and adapt to sea level rise

The viewer also allowed participants to share their concerns and support for solutions via polling questions. Of the 3,100 OWL users; the majority of them were:

  • Highly concerned about current flood risks
  • Supportive of immediate community action

Read the full research summary here.