Smartphones to monitor our coastal region

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Be on the lookout for the CoastSnap site between the Coolum Surf Club and the start of the boardwalk, which will allow citizen scientists to monitor our changing coastline by taking a snap with their smartphone. Photo: Contributed

Sunshine Coast Council is carefully monitoring changes in our region’s coastline and now people who are concerned with our coastal areas can help by capturing a snap with their smartphone at one of three new CoastSnap locations.

CoastSnap is a global citizen science project founded by the University of NSW, designed to measure beach erosion/changes and recovery over time.

Thanks to the Sunshine Coast Council Environment Levy, there are now four stations across the Sunshine Coast – an existing station at Alexandra Headland (beach access 156) and three new stations at Buddina (beach access 199), Coolum (north of beach access 81) and Moffat Beach (beach access 274).

Sunshine Coast Council’s Environment Portfolio Councillor Maria Suarez said the Coastal Hazard Adaptation Strategy helped council to prepare and protect our coastal areas and communities from the impacts of a changing climate.

“A lot of work has gone on behind the scenes over several years to inform the long-term management of our coastline,” Cr Suarez said.

“And now our community has the opportunity to contribute to that research using CoastSnap.

“Simply head to one of our CoastSnap stations, take a photo and upload it to the free CoastSnap app.

“The amount of sand on a beach is constantly changing, and the snap is an accurate record of the shoreline at that moment in time.

“The technology behind CoastSnap compiles the images into time-lapse video to track changes to our shoreline, giving researchers and council’s engineers insights into how our beaches change and recover after storms, big tides and severe weather, as well as to measure long-term environmental change such as sea-level rise.

Cr Suarez said that the valuable data and information compiled would complement council’s current beach monitoring program to inform council’s decision-making processes and keep our beaches healthy.

“CoastSnap relies on repeat photos of the same location to track changes so I encourage everyone to start, and keep, snapping.”

CoastSnap images from around the world can be viewed via the interactive map on the following website –

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