With CoastSnap everyone can be a scientist – it's as easy as snap, share, see.

New Brighton BeachCoasts are changing. Ōtautahi Christchurch is not immune to the far-reaching impacts of sea-level rise and global climate change. Additionally, the earthquakes of 2010–2011 had a significant impact on our coastal communities.

As part of our response to these unprecedented challenges, we are working with Environment Canterbury and the University of Canterbury to deliver the first CoastSnap points in te Wai Pounamu the South Island.

At these points, you can take snaps and send them in to contribute to our coastal monitoring. Your photos will help us capture and study the dynamism and resilience of our coastlines. This includes not only the effects of storms and sea-level rise but also the continuous cycles of accretion and erosion that shape our coasts.

Your efforts will help us better understand and manage our coastal environment. Snap to be a part of our city’s future.

Contributing to coastal science is as easy as snap, share, see. Simply travel to a CoastSnap location and follow the instructions below.

Contribute to CoastSnap

1. Snap

Firstly, take a snap on your phone by placing it in one of the photo point cradle located around our city's coastline.

Here are some handy tips to make sure your images are useful:

  • Place your phone or tablet snuggly up against the left edge of the photo point cradle.
  • Avoid using filters.
  • No need to zoom.

2. Share

Simply share it to the CoastSnap app, coastsnapchch@ccc.govt.nz, Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag shown on the sign.

If uploading through social media, then make sure you include the time and date the photo was taken in the comments.

3. See

Lastly, view the other photos people have posted on our website or by searching the following hashtags on Twitter or Instagram:

  • #coastsnapbrightonsth
  • #coastsnapbrightonnth
  • #coastsnaptaylors

We are launching CoastSnap at three sites across Christchurch:

  • New Brighton Pier: Two points can be found on either side of the New Brighton Pier looking along the beach both North and South.
  • Taylors Mistake: This can be found a short way up the Awaroa/Godley Head Loop Track.

We are looking to expand the network of photo points.

If you have any suggestions for more sites within Ōtautahi Christchurch or Banks Peninsula Te Pataka o Rakaihautu then send us an email at coastsnapchch@ccc.govt.nz.

We are looking for sites which are elevated, have high foot traffic and have interesting coastal dynamics.

The sands of Ōtautahi/Christchurch’s beaches are always shifting.

CoastSnap will allow us to capture a snapshot of how these dynamic coastal environments are influenced by changing weather and wave conditions, extreme storm events and natural processes such as erosion and recovery cycles.

Once collated, these images are able to be analysed in Matlab to measure change and help increase our understanding of what makes a beach more dynamic or resilient than others. This will help us to manage these environments more effectively.

The data from these snaps will then be used by Christchurch City Council, Environment Canterbury and others to monitor, research and plan alongside Ōtautahi Christchurch’s coastal communities.

CoastSnap is a community science initiative originally developed by the New South Wales Department of Planning, Industry and the Environment, and the Water Research Laboratory at the University of New South Wales (NSW). 

The time-lapsed images NSW communities contributed have been used to determine how different coasts respond to different events and experiences. To have a look, go to the NSW CoastSnap website(external link) or NSW CoastSnap Facebook page(external link).

Bringing CoastSnap to Ōtautahi Christchurch means community science will collect valuable large-scale data which enables us to better understand our city’s beaches.