Posted on September 28, 2021
THERE are eyes on coastal erosion across Port Macquarie-Hastings beaches thanks to a new initiative called CoastSnap.
Council crews installed six CoastSnap monitoring stations across the local government area to help residents assist in tracking shoreline processes such as coastal erosion.
Each monitoring station includes a smartphone cradle and accompanying signage with instructions.
Anyone can mount their phone, snap a picture, upload it to the app or on social media with the hashtag listed on the sign, to aid in vital research and conservation efforts.
Ben Foster, acting natural resources manager, said CoastSnap will make recording changes to local coastlines more efficient.
“Our beaches are constantly evolving. Powerful storms move sand offshore, which typically returns during calmer conditions,” Mr Foster said.
“With CoastSnap, we can gather data in real time from images uploaded by our community. The information is produced by the app’s algorithms and quickly alerts us of any changes, which will improve our ability to be proactive with conservation measures.”
The initiative was driven by Kate Aston, a volunteer with Revive Lake Cathie.
“It’s a great solution because it involves our passionate community,” Mr Foster said.
The UNSW Water Research Laboratory and the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment partnered to develop CoastSnap in 2017, in response to a strong interest from NSW communities and their visitors to learn about dynamic coastlines, and to get involved.
“When a big storm hits, lots of community members have a real interest in seeing the action on our beaches, so having these stations set up means that at every stage, we can be monitoring changes and bettering our understanding of how beaches erode and recover over time,” Mr Foster said.
The CoastSnap monitoring stations in the Port Macquarie-Hastings are located at Town Beach, Flynns Beach, Shelly Beach, Lake Cathie Lagoon Lookout, Jonathan Dickson Reserve lookout and Rainbow Beach.
In just two weeks, over 20 images of the six locations have been uploaded. The data captured by these images, and future images will help to formulate action plans and strategies to preserve the natural environment into the future.
For more information on the CoastSnap monitoring stations, visit pmhc.nsw.gov.au/CoastSnap.