Parks Canada’s new Coastie Initiative gets you in picture with science

From: Parks Canada

October 15, 2021 Gatineau, Québec Parks Canada Agency

When you take a photo of yourself, that’s a selfie. When you take a photo of the coast, that’s a coastie!

Parks Canada is launching the Coastie Initiative, a new citizen science program in five Parks Canada administered places. Pictures taken by visitors at these locations will help us monitor coastal change over time.

Cell phone cradles will be installed in specific locations at the coastal sites this year. To participate in the Coastie Initiative, visitors will be invited to either scan the QR code at the Coastie site, submit their photos to, or share their photos on social media using the #Coastie hashtag. Instructions on how to share photos will be on site at each Coastie research location.

The photos will be analyzed and the data will be made available to the University of Windsor, who will use it to track coastal changes, such as shoreline retreat, dune erosion and recovery, storm surge and ice cover, vegetation structure, beach use, and rip current locations.

The program will launch in Prince Edward Island National Park, Fundy National Park, Kouchibouguac National Park, Point Pelee National Park, and Sable Island National Park Reserve. Between one and three Coastie stands will be installed at each site. Visitors will be able to participate even more in 2022 when more national parks join the Coastie Initiative.

The Coastie Initiative was a winning project on the crowdsourced Innovation Competition for Parks Canada employees. The Innovation Competition was a contest to promote innovative solutions to natural resource conservation challenges. Employees from across the Agency had the opportunity to propose projects directly linked to one of Parks Canada’s conservation priorities.

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