UNSW Global Water Institute Research - coastal monitoring

GWI to train Pacific countries in community-based coastal monitoring

GWI recently secured funding to bring representatives from seven Pacific Island countries together to attend a training workshop on community-based coastal monitoring.

Coastal erosion and vulnerability are of major concern across the Pacific, and GWI and the UNSW Water Research Laboratory (WRL) will be helping to combat the issue by training representatives of GEF Ridge to Reef projects from the Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Nauru, Samoa, Tonga and Tuvalu using UNSW's CoastSnap initiative.

CoastSnap is an innovative, community-based beach and coast monitoring program that provides low-cost and effective beach and coastal processes monitoring. Developed by WRL, CoastSnap encourages members of the public to snap a photo of the beach by placing their mobile phone in a fixed cradle at a strategically-placed CoastSnap monitoring station. These photographs are then shared through social media or email, and used by scientists to measure the changing beach and movement of the shoreline to discover how each beach responds to changing ocean conditions.

The CoastSnap workshop will take place in November in Suva, Fiji, and include the installation of a CoastSnap station along the Coral Coast. Participants will take part in classroom and field training on optimal station placement, local surveying and geospatial data collection, data analysis and interpretation for management decisions, cradle/hardware installation, signage and community awareness. They will also take part in the installation of a monitoring station, and leave equipped with the knowledge and skills to manage the installation of monitoring stations in their respective countries.

GWI developed the training workshop proposal in consultation with the project managers from seven Ridge 2 Reef (R2R) projects across the Pacific, to map out the needs and benefits of the CoastSnap approach to community engagement for coastal monitoring in Pacific Island Countries. The workshop is funded under the twinning program of the Global Environmental Facility’s Large Marine Ecosystem: Learning Exchange and Resource Network (GEF LME:LEARN) and with generous in-kind support provided by the Pacific Community (SPC).

Image (right): https://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/research-and-publications/your-research/citizen-science/digital-projects/coastsnap 

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