Caring for our dunes helps protect our shorelines

DuneWatch is a SEQ Citizen Science program that gives the Gold Coast community an opportunity to help collect vital information on the health of our sand dunes. Facilitated by the Griffith Centre for Coastal Management, the program was established in December 2015 and contributes to the expanding knowledge on local dune systems. The program also supports BeachCare’s planting activities and ensures dune regeneration is conducted efficiently and effectively.


Sand dunes are important ecosystems that protect our shorelines and coastal development. Dune vegetation ensures sand is held together during storm events and attracts a variety of wildlife. A number of animal species will find their homes in the dunes, others look for shelter or food. Each sand dune has its own composition and the diversity of plants and animals create a valuable coastal environment.

What we do

We conduct four different types of surveys:

  • Flora surveys—we conduct these to determine species diversity, density and identify natives and weeds.
  • Fauna surveys—using a transect line, we record all evidence of fauna we observe.
  • Measurements of slopes—we measure the height of the dunes above sea level. Over time, we’re able to analyse how the slopes change or any indication of erosion.
  • Human impact assessment—we record each type of human disturbance we observe. This might include litter or trampled plants.
  • Photo point monitoring—we create a photographic data bank on each dune site.

DuneWatch sites

We conduct surveys at 10 different sites on the Gold Coast:

  • Paradise Point
  • Runaway Bay
  • Labrador
  • Surfers Paradise
  • Broadbeach
  • North Burleigh
  • Palm Beach
  • Currumbin
  • Tugun
  • Rainbow Bay.

See the SEQ Citizen Science site for more information on these areas.

Upcoming events

Connect with us on Facebook to see what events are coming up soon


DuneWatch is held on Saturdays from 9 am to 11 am at one of the 12 sites on the Gold Coast. Check out our calendar for dates and locations. No bookings are required, just come along and chat with one of our coordinators. Make sure you wear closed shoes, sun-smart clothing and bring a bottle of water.

DuneWatch calendar


If you have any questions regarding DuneWatch, call us on 07 5552 8829.