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Miami, Florida: Citizen Science Sampling Campaign for King Tides

City: Miami
Country / US State / US Territory: Florida
Type of Solution: Awareness Campaign
Climate Impact: Sea Level Rise
Social Value Created: Public Education; Community Engagement; Social Justice and Equity for Vulnerable Communities; Public Health and Safety

During King Tides, groundwater rises and seeps up into low-lying communities. While currently these events only occur a few times a year, they could occur as frequently as 30 to 40 times a year by 2030. Florida International University (FIU) is leading a volunteer program to help map and collect data on these King Tides, helping to inform adaptation solutions.

Local community members volunteer for a few hours during these King Tides to take and record measurements in a phone application, recording the depth, length, and location of the King Tide. This method improve community awareness and helps to engage community members in solution development.

One of these sampling events, Sea Level Solutions Day, occurred on November 4, 2017. Over 75 citizen scientists volunteered, assisting in sampling in six different Miami neighborhoods. Samples were taken for traces of fecal coliform and other indicators of contamination.

Fig: Citizen scientist, Lesly Abreu, collecting flood water samples at Vizcaya Museum and Gardens for Sea Level Solutions (Photo retrieved from

Fig: Citizen scientist, Bryan Palacio, testing flood water samples for bacterial content (Photo retrieved from


Florida International University Sea Level Solutions Center. (n.d.). Citizen Science. Retrieved from

Florida International University Sea Level Solutions Center. (n.d.). Sea Level Solutions Day. Retrieved from

New Delhi Times Bureau. (December 9, 2017). Miami citizens become scientists to study rising seas. Retrieved from

*Note: This case was documented from an interview with a city practitioner.