Citizen scientists to measure coastline with a snap


Citizen scientists will be able to help measure coastline changes when five CoastSnap phone cradles are installed at key beachfront locations across the Shire.

Residents and visitors alike will be encouraged to participate in the monitoring program by taking photos of precise locations and sharing the photo online.

Over time, the database of photos will record erosion and recovery cycles, helping Council understand why some beaches are more dynamic or resilient than others.

Douglas Shire Council Sustainability Officer Ada Pasanen said phone cradles will be installed at Wonga, Newell, Cooya, Four Mile, and Cow Bay.

See what's happening on Four Mile through the Beachcam

“With over 100kms of shoreline, our beaches are a valuable part of life in the Douglas Shire,” she said.

“Erosion and storm tide inundation are natural processes that shape the shoreline but when these changes impact our communities, they become coastal hazards.

“Monitoring changes is important so that the impacts of coastal hazards can be avoided, mitigated or managed through adaptation planning.

“Utilising phone cradles is an innovative way to harness the power of social media and capture a valuable record of the changing coastlines at our beaches.

People are encouraged to place their smartphone into the cradle, take a photo of the beach and share it on with CoastSnap via social media or by using their application or web portal, which are currently under development.

“This data will later be merged into time-lapse videos and analysed using a series of algorithms,” Ms Pasanen said.

Instructional signage will be installed with each cradle, highlighting the process of sharing images.

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