CoastSnap beach monitoring

Capture and share your photos using our innovative photo points at iconic beaches to help us to monitor our dynamic coast.

CoastSnap logoThe next time you visit Manly or North Narrabeen, become a citizen beach scientist by capturing and sharing a photo with your mobile device using our innovative CoastSnap precision photo points. Your shared photos taken from fixed locations will be used to measure change in the shoreline position and beach width.

Over time, the CoastSnap community beach monitoring database will provide new insights on beach response to changing wave conditions and storms, which will help communities to understand and manage our dynamic coast.

Digital community beach monitoring

The Office of Environment and Heritage, Water Research Laboratory (UNSW Sydney) and Northern Beaches Council have teamed up to establish community beach monitoring photo-point fixtures. Our innovative fixtures allow citizen scientists to accurately measure beaches using their mobile devices. By controlling the position and angle of your camera, we can measure beach features in your photos, providing an accurate record of the beach state and shoreline position at the time of capture.

Coastsnap community beach monitoring sign

Logo Office of Environment and Heritage, University of New South Wales Water Research Laboratory, Northern Beaches Council

Over time the CoastSnap data provides a record of beach erosion and recovery cycles, and any long-term trends in beach change where present. The CoastSnap data is processed by researchers from the Water Research Laboratory (UNSW Sydney). Photos and short videos can be processed into time-lapse images that not only capture shoreline position and beach width, but also describe the size and distribution of surf zone bars and rips. The additional data provides a more detailed picture of the movement of sand between the exposed and submersed parts of the beach system.

How do I get snapping?

Visit one of our community beach monitoring photo points with your mobile device and follow these steps:

  1. Carefully mount your mobile device on the CoastSnap photo-point fixture, with the screen facing you
  2. Ensure that your mobile device is resting against the left side of the photo-point fixture
  3. Take a standard photo with your mobile device’s camera, without using any zoom or filter effects
  4. Carefully remove your mobile device from the photo-point fixture

Don’t forget to share your CoastSnap photos so that we can extract beach monitoring data.

If you have the Facebook app

Share your photo record of the beach directly by posting your photo on the CoastSnap Facebook page (search CoastSnap in Facebook). Note that other users will be able to see your shared photos.

If you don’t have the Facebook app

You can submit your photos via email to:  

Where can I take CoastSnap photos?

Coastsnap camera and mobile phoneThere are currently CoastSnap photo points at two of Sydney’s iconic northern beaches.

Manly Beach (South Steyne)

Find the CoastSnap photo point at the northern end of Reddall Street above Manly Life Saving Club. You can access Reddall Street via the stairs from Marine Parade.

North Narrabeen Beach

Find the CoastSnap photo point in Narrabeen Head Reserve on the northern side of the entrance to Narrabeen Lagoon. You can access the reserve from the southern end of Peal Place.

Where can I see other people’s photos?

You can view CoastSnap photos submitted by other citizen scientists on the CoastSnap Facebook page (you do not require a Facebook account).

We will process your CoastSnap community beach monitoring photos and upload time-lapse images and other processed outputs to the CoastSnap Facebook page periodically.