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. In any given year, the amount of coastal erosion along the north shore of PEI National Park can be between 0.6m to 3m.

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 coastiecanada.ca, 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 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.      

In Prince Edward Island National Park, there will be Coastie sites at both Cavendish Beach and Brackley Beach boardwalks. Beyond Prince Edward Island National Park, there will also be Coastie locations installed this year along shorelines in Kouchibouguac National Park, Fundy National Park, Point Pelee National Park, and Sable Island National Park Reserve.