A unique nation-wide competition will be launched on Saturday 21st March –to identify Australia’s saddest beach.

The beach found to be in the worst condition will win a visit from a team of coastal experts who will help the local community transform it into a Happy Beach.

The driving force behind the Happy Beaches competition is Griffith University student Naomi Edwards. A Gold Coast local, Naomi holds a Bachelor of Environmental Science and a Master of International and Community Development.

More recently her research has turned to beachhappiness through an Honours project that investigates the use and value of community knowledge in coastal management.

“Happy Beaches is about connecting experts from a range of coastal environmental disciplines with communities who need help managing beach issues,” Naomi said.

‘By providing communities with the information they need, we will hopefully inspire and enable them to transform their beach from sad to happy. And at one location, we will come and help them do the job.”

VIDEO – Happy Beaches: Interview with Naomi

Here are Happy Beaches’ indicators for what makes a beach sad and happy:

What makes a beach sad?

  • Marine debris issues
  • Eroded beaches as a result from human impacts or unsustainable coastal intervention
  • Undesignated beach access
  • No long-term beach management strategy
  • Lack of community action and partnerships
  • Capacity issues (e.g. people/ access capacity)
  • Lack of facilities to meet beach users demands
  • Lack of biodiversity and conservation practices

What makes a beach happy?

  • Marine debris strategy in action with source reduction results
  • A long term strategy that have a vision beyond 25+ years
  • Designated beach access and used correctly
  • Increasing community action and growing partnerships
  • Limited resource capacity constraints
  • Sufficient facilities to meet the needs of beach users
  • Biodiversity and conservation is central to the management of the beach.

To enter the competition coastal communities just need to enter their sad beachstory to Australia’s Happy Beachescompetition at www.happybeaches.org/

Applications will open onSaturday 21st Marchand close onMonday 20th April 2015.

More information about the Happy Beaches competition can be found at www.happybeaches.org/