CoastSnap is community-led beach monitoring via smartphones to capture changing coastlines. Our beaches are constantly evolving; by contributing a photo you will help record short and long-term beach erosion and recovery. We use your photos, together with our more intensive survey techniques, to help us better understand beach processes and contributing factors.

CoastSnap station demo

How to participate:

  • Place your smartphone in the cradle
  • Take a picture
  • Share it via:
    • the QR code on the cradle
    • the Coastsnap app 
    • or on social media with the site's hashtag

How does the beach normally change?

In many of the beaches along San Diego’s coastline, powerful winter waves move sand offshore. Because of this, some beaches like Torrey Pines have exposed cobbles or bedrock in the winter. Sand typically returns during calmer conditions in the summer, pushed onshore by less powerful waves. Tides, wind, and out-of-season storms can alter these dynamics on shorter timescales. On longer timescales, climate change and rising sea levels may fundamentally alter the pathways of San Diego’s sand supply. For more information on how we monitor these changing sand levels, check out our technology and research pages.

What do we do with your photos?

  • Beach change plots
  • runup validation
  • time-lapse videos
Marine Street Beach April-May 2022

Watch the rocks come and go: April-May 2022 at Marine Street Beach, La Jolla, CA


August 3-August 8, 2022 timelapse at Torrey Pines shows fleeting beach cusp patterns near the parking kiosk

For more information on our local stations, contact Dr. Julia Fiedler.
For more information on the global program, visit

CoastSnap Logo

This project is sponsored by: