Shoreline tidal boundary project for Tulalip, WA
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Shoreline tidal boundary project for Tulalip, WA
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    "NOAA's Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services (CO-OPS) has a rich history in the application of tidal datum products and services for nautical charting and marine boundary determination. Tidal datums are primarily provided through the analysis of water level data collected at water level stations. Tidal datum elevations relative to the land are realized through the establishment of tidal bench mark networks which are used to establish marine boundaries. Typically, water level stations and their associated bench mark networks are installed in support of NOAA's hydrographic and shoreline mapping program; however, they are also installed through partnerships with local groups wishing to reestablish marine boundaries. The legal shoreline in the United States is the Mean High Water (MHW) shoreline as delineated by NOAA on United States nautical charts based on established tidal datums. More specifically, each point on a MHW shoreline represents the horizontal position of the land-water interface at the time when the water level is at a height equal to the MHW elevation value at that point (Figure 1). These tidal datums are also critical in providing the legal definition for a variety of marine boundaries. MHW, for example, is the dividing line between many State tidelands and private uplands, and Mean Lower Low Water (MLLW) is the dividing line between Federal territorial seas and state submerged lands (CO-OPS, 2001). The marine boundary definition is supported by the fact that all tidal datums at a water level station are referenced to the land through geodetic leveling to a number of tidal bench marks, which are brass markers set into solid rock or other permanent structures, or are stainless steel rods that are driven to refusal. It is critical to update tidal datum elevations and their relationships relative to the land. These relationships can change over time if the land subsides (or rises due to glacial rebound), or if relative sea level rises due to effects such as global warming (CO-OPS, 2001). The purpose of this report is to document the CO-OPS support of the Tulalip Tribes in establishing marine boundaries. The report documents the field work required for station installation, data collection and processing, tidal datum computation, and tidal bench mark elevation determination required to meet the needs of the Tulalip Tribes"--Introduction.
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