Smart Beaches cares for the ocean

Flashing lights will attract beach-goers' attention

Around 6500 ocean lovers descended on Manly Beach at the beginning of December to celebrate Ocean Care Day. The Smart Beaches team were on hand to brief the community and explain how we will be using movement and GPS technology throughout the summer to help make the beach environment safer.

34 stalls dotted the beachfront at Manly throughout the day and hundreds of people came to the Smart Beaches stall to find out more. Staff were able to point out the cameras already in place above the beach and show how the data will be used to count visitors and track weather and ocean conditions.

It would have been interesting to have the wind tracking data on hand throughout the morning as the weather felt more like a blustery winter day than the first day of summer.

Feedback from the community was overwhelmingly positive with lots of interest in how the information will be used to make a trip to the beach safer and more enjoyable. As the project progresses over the summer, we will get more of an idea about exactly what information is predictable through Artificial Intelligence (AI) and how powerful that will be in keeping people safe in and out of the water.

Smart Beaches is a joint initiative of Lake Macquarie Council, Northern Beaches Council, UTS and many other technology partners. It is funded by the Australian Government through the Smart Cities and Suburbs program.

The trial program will take place over the summer on four beaches on the Central Coast and Sydney’s Northern Beaches – Redhead, Blacksmiths, Shelly and Manly.