CoastSnapWA – community beach monitoring

Project Plan

CoastSnapWA is a citizen science initiative that aims to enhance our understanding of coastal processes by engaging community members to ‘snap’ photos of the beach.

Beaches evolve across a range of timescales in response to changing ocean conditions. For example, extreme erosion can occur over a few days in response to storm events, whereas sustained erosion can occur due to sea level rise and other long-term changes in ocean conditions (e.g. wave height and/or direction).

Scientists’ ability to understand and predict coastal changes, and therefore inform coastal management, relies on continual observations of coastal response. Unfortunately, coastal observations are generally infrequent due to the cost of collecting these measurements.

CoastSnapWA presents a method for dramatically increasing the frequency of coastal observations, at low cost, through community-sourced coastal imagery. CoastSnapWA was established at 9 sites through the southwest in 2020 and has received over 800 images from over 300 unique community members. Imagery is processed into time-lapse videos and re-distributed to the public via social media for visualising coastal change ( Furthermore, quantitative measurements on beach state (beach width, shoreline position) are extracted from the photos which can complement existing measurements and be used to inform coastal management by local governments.

Your Support

Getting involved is easy:

  1. Travel to one of the CoastSnapWA sites. Choose from Rockingham, Mandurah, Waroona, Harvey, Bunbury, Dardanup, Capel, and Busselton.
    • The sites are all discoverable via Google Maps, if you search for ‘CoastSnap wa’, you can navigate to all of the sites.


  1. Use the CoastSnap app (available on the Apple App store & Google Play)


  2. Scan the QR code on the signage at the CoastSnapWA site
    • After snapping your photo, open your phone’s camera app and point camera at the QR code
    • Follow the link to the CoastSnapWA database ( and upload your image

Alternatively, you can:

  • Email your photo to
    • Please include the site hashtag and time that photo was taken
  • Post to our Facebook page
  • Share via Twitter
    • Use site hashtag and #coastsnapwa and include time that photo was taken