Friday, 4 November 2022


Coast Snap and BeachStat to be installed across beaches

Shellharbour City Council is implementing a local community beach monitoring program to assist with coastal management and mapping the changing coastline over time.

When people visit Shellharbour City’s major beaches, they can participate in a citizen science program, “Coast Snap”, to monitor how local beaches erode and recover over time with changing ocean conditions.

Coast Snap relies on crowd-sourced imagery to be collected and submitted by community members. It is a low-cost beach monitoring technology that turns personal smart phones into powerful coastal monitoring tools.

A simple stainless steel phone cradle is installed overlooking beaches in easily accessed locations. Beach visitors are encouraged to place their phone into the cradle, take a photo and upload it to a centralised database via the Coast Snap app.

This collection of community-sourced images provides a record of the coastline as it evolves.

Changes to beaches can occur naturally from changing tides, extreme weather events or rising sea levels, as well as, in response to human activities and built infrastructure such as breakwalls and seawalls.

Coast Snap will collate this information into a useable format for the community and council to better understand how our coastlines change over time; improving the way we manage our coast.

The first Coast Snap installations are at Shell Cove Harbour Breakwater South and Warilla South Beach.

Other Coast Snap locations will be added across Shellharbour in the coming weeks.

Locations will include:
•    Windang Island
•    Shellharbour North Beach

Council also plans to install BeachStat cameras at two locations in the coming weeks. BeachStat is another image-based monitoring system developed by Water Research Laboratory (WRL) that provides continuous monitoring.

The cameras collect routine, high frequency time-lapse imagery of beaches that can be used for shoreline mapping, beach evolution videos, beach width analysis and beach user analysis. 

Shellharbour City Council Mayor Chris Homer said that the coastal monitoring tools were a great way to monitor our coastline and work proactively to protect our beaches.

“We’re situated on the coast and need to be resilient and prepared to deal with the storms, swells and full moon high tides that batter our coast and beaches,” Mayor Homer said.

“Coast Snap is a simple and innovative way to track these changes and visualise the effects of erosion, climate change and extreme weather damage through a collection of community-sourced images. It’s easy to use and I encourage our community and visitors to take a quick snap when they visit each location,” said he said.

This project is supported by Shellharbour City Council with technical and financial assistance provided by the NSW Government through its Coastal Management Program.

For more information

Find Coast Snap locations here 

Download the Coast Snap app from the App Store 

Download the Coast Snap app from Google Play

Media enquiries: Kelli Wells 0448 361 008

Last updated : Thu 24 Nov 2022