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Citizen science on the Gold Coast

The City of Gold Coast supports a number of citizen science projects which encourages community participation. Community members gain hands on experience with valuable scientific data that can make a meaningful impact to scientific research and environmental decision making.

Anyone can contribute and there’s many ways to get involved.

Some of the City-coordinated projects include:

If you are an organisation or community group looking to undertake scientific research on City of Gold Coast controlled parkland, approval might be required. For further information visit Temporary access to parks for scientific research.

The City also support a number of external partner organisations to deliver a range of community citizen science activities. Help includes funding through in-kind support and grants such as:

Below are some of the projects you can get involved with:


An opportunity for experienced and amateur nature lovers to spend a few hours with an expert and surveying for flora and fauna. For more information visit the Watergum website.

Dolphin Research Australia

Coastal dolphins are some of the most vulnerable marine species in the world due to habitat degradation and disturbance. The Healthy Waterways – Healthy Dolphins project provides vital information on the status and health of dolphin communities in the Gold Coast estuaries. For more information visit Dolphin Research Australia.

Cane Toad Challenge

Help reduce Cane Toad numbers on the Gold Coast with a revolutionary new method of cane toad control that uses the toad’s own toxins against them. For more information visit the Watergum website.

Microplastics Down Under

Help map the presence of microplastics along our beaches. For more information visit Ocean Connect.

Platypus Watch

Learn about where platypus live and why they are disappearing. Help monitor platypus populations and identify what is needed to ensure the protection one of Australia’s most unique species. For more information visit Platypus Watch.


Discover hidden creatures while assessing waterway health. The waterways around the Gold Coast are teeming with Waterbugs. Not only are they a vital food source for platypus, turtles and other aquatic animals, they also offer valuable insight into waterway health. For more information visit the Watergum website.

Water Quality

Seize the opportunity to use state of the art monitoring probes to record water quality data from our local waterways. Water pH, oxygen levels, temperature and other parameters can have a huge impact on the quality of our waterways and on the creatures that depend on them for survival. For more information visit the Watergum website.

Seagrass Watch

Help monitor this vital marine ecosystem. Seagrass is an important food source for many threatened species, such as dugongs and turtles as well as providing important habitat for countless marine animals. For more information visit the Watergum website.

Reef Check Australia

The Gold Coast is famous for being an ocean loving community, but many people may be unaware of the amazing underwater world just off the coastline. Reef Check Australia has been undertaking long term monitoring of the Gold Coast’s reefs with the help of highly trained citizen scientists. Visit Reef Check Australia.

Sea Slug Census

Contribute to marine research by recording sea slugs and other wildlife in our rocky shores and reefs. For more information visit Ocean Connect.

Seaside Scavenge

Help clean up and document the litter found on coastline while enjoying live tunes and plastic free living workshops. Then trade the litter you have collected trash for treasure in the form of funky second-hand clothes, shoes, jewellery, books & much more. For more information visit Seaside Scavenge.

The Catchment and Citizen Science Grants encourage participation in activities to foster understanding about water catchment health as well as encouraging actions that improve the condition of our water environments. Find out how to apply.

Check out the Backyard Biodiversity resources for some great identification resources on frogs, butterflies, native bees and koalas.

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