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Beach monitoring sees citizen science a snap

Eurobodalla has joined the CoastSnap family. The citizen science project has beach-goers across the country and around the world using their mobile phones to collect images used by coastal scientists to assess the health of beaches.

Eurobodalla Council has installed two CoastSnap stations – one at Melville Point, Tomakin and the other at South Broulee lookout – where visitors can snap a picture of the beach and share it on CoastSnap social media pages.

Over time the images are compiled to capture a long-term time lapse of each beach, which is analysed by scientists from the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage and the University of NSW Water Research Laboratory.

The resulting data is an additional tool for agencies involved in coastal management. During the Ordinary Council Meeting of Eurobodalla Shire Council held on Tuesday 26 March 2019 a motion was put forward by Cr James Thomson suggesting that CoastSnap was a resource that could help Council better understand Eurobodalla’s beaches. It was agreed to refer the proposed project to the 2019-20 budget with consideration of $15,000 to establish the CoastSnap Beach Monitoring Program at Broulee and Melville Point inclusive of equipment, site setup, initial survey calibration and data processing for the first year of operation noting that the program requires an ongoing annual budget of $8,000 for data collection and processing. Council’s coastal and flood management planner Cameron Whiting said it was a great opportunity for the community and visitors to get involved in a citizen science project that started in Australia and had since gone global.

“It’s easy to get involved,” he said.

“Put your phone in the cradle, camera facing out through the gap, screen facing you, and snug it up against the left side.

“Then take a standard photo – no zoom or filter. Remove your phone then share your photo to Facebook, Instagram or Twitter using the appropriate hashtag: #coastsnaptomakin or #coastsnapbroulee.

“If you’re not on socials, you can also email the photo to coast.snap@environment.nsw.gov.au.”


Above: South Broulee lookout has one of the shire’s new CoastSnap stations, giving beachgoers the chance to help create long-term time lapse photos using their smartphones.

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