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Use your mobile phone camera to help us monitor the erosion and recovery of Nelson’s coastline by taking part in this crowd-sourced community science project.

Nelson City Council has partnered with CoastSnap to install a specially designed phone cradle at five coastal locations in Nelson (Monaco, Tahunanui, Kinzett Terrace, the Boulder Bank, and Cable Bay). By placing your phone in the cradle, taking a photograph of the view and then sharing it using either the CoastSnap app, or via email ([email protected]), you will become part of an international science experiment, which will help scientists monitor sea level rise and coastal erosion.

The photos you upload create a record so we can monitor changes to the shoreline, sea level rise and effects of storms. Your photos can be compiled to create a time-lapse video to show how the beach evolves over time. The cradle ensures all the images taken are from exactly the same vantage point.

You can either take a photo using the CoastSnap app or email the photo directly to [email protected] . Using the app means you simply have to take the photo and hit upload. If you use your own camera, please make sure the image is:

  • Landscape
  • Unedited
  • Not zoomed
  • Not filtered

If you can’t email the photo straight away, please include the date and time it was taken.

What are we monitoring? – Our beaches and coastlines can erode, and recover over time with changing ocean conditions, such as storm events and sea level rise. Sand can be removed from the beach by large waves and high tides, and is scattered offshore, leading to beach erosion. Sand can also be returned by calmer waves and may build the beach out again over time.

By becoming a beach scientist and recording this view you are helping us to monitor shoreline changes, and learn how different beaches respond to the changing ocean conditions. Community beach monitoring can help us improve how we manage our treasured coastal environments.


CoastSnap Cradles:
Monaco: opposite taste trail to Nelson, between Grace Street and Hoult Crescent
Tahunanui: Rocks Road first set of steps down to Tahunanui main beach from Abel Tasman statue
Kinzett Terrace: on the east side of the car park to the left of the Music of Time statue
Boulder Bank: at the north end of Boulder Bank Drive where it meets the beach
Cable Bay: at the end of Cable Bay Road to west side of beach car park


Vikki Ambrose
[email protected]
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