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Becoming a beach scientist is a snap. Share your photos from iconic beaches to help us better understand and manage our dynamic coast.

Next time you are at one of our CoastSnap locations, become a scientist for the day by helping us measure how our beaches change over time.

What is CoastSnap?
CoastSnap is a network of simple camera mounts at beaches that invite the public to take a photo and upload it to social media, using a specific hashtag.  CoastSnap harnesses the power of crowdsourcing to record short- and long-term beach erosion and recovery.
How does it work?
Photos you upload with the hashtag or email to are posted on the CoastSnapNESeaGrant Facebook page. The photos are reviewed by researchers from Woods Hole Sea Grant and the Cape Cod Cooperative Extension, and compiled into time-lapse videos that capture shoreline position and beach width as it evolves through time. The videos will be shared here and on the Facebook page.
Woods Hole Sea Grant's CoastSnap cradles are located at

Town Neck Beach

Sandwich, Cape Cod, MA

» Google Map

Town Neck Beach has been deprived of material from longshore sediment transport by nearby jetties for over 100 years. This lack of sand input, combined with rising sea levels, has led to the relatively rapid erosion of this section of shoreline. Shoreline protection for homes needs constant vigilance and without active nourishment the barrier beach would not be able to sustain its current location.  By documenting the mobilization of the placed sediment, it is possible to show that not all sand eroded from the artificial dune is “lost”. Instead, it is redistributed along the beach and intertidal zone, creating a system more resilient to future coastal storms.

Your snaps will help to improve the way local communities and governments manage our valuable beach environments.

1. Snap.

Place smartphone on the camera cradle and take a photo.

2. Share.

Use the specified hashtag and post it on Facebook, Instagram or email it to


State Beach

Oak Bluffs, Martha's Vineyard, MA

"Little Bridge" inlet by Sengekontacket Pond

» Google Map

State Beach is a relatively narrow barrier beach system that has been highly managed for many years. Due to the thin nature of the barrier islands it is not feasible to allow migration of these landforms while allowing road access to this very heavily utilized recreational beach. This CoastSnap was located to allow outreach on the dynamic nature of sediment in the inlet. After the inlet becomes clogged with sand, it is dredged in order to preserved the tidal flushing of Sengekontacket Pond and that material is then distributed along the barrier beach in order to maintain the landform.


With your mobile device and our CoastSnap photo cradles, you can capture a valuable record of the beach state, and share it with the hashtags on Facebook and InstaGram or email. Using your snaps, we are building a community database that provides new insights on beach response to changing weather and wave conditions, and extreme storms. Over time, your CoastSnaps will record erosion and recovery cycles, and any long-term changes, helping us understand why some beaches are more dynamic or resilient than others.

CoastSnap was created by researchers at the University of New South Wales in Australia and can now be found in 22 countries around the world.
For more information on the global CoastSnap effort, see