A competition to identify Australia’s ‘saddest’ beach has been announced by Naomi Edwards, coordinator of the Younger Australian Coastal Society. 

The competition, launched on 21 March – World Happiness Day – is aimed at finding Australia’s most distressed beach and then working to rehabilitate it.

Naomi Edwards, who holds a Bachelor of Environmental Science and a Master of International and Community Development, said the competition is about connecting experts from a range of coastal environmental disciplines with communities who need help managing beach issues.

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

Naomi said the indictors of a ‘sad’ beach include: marine debris, coastal erosion, lack of long-term beach management strategy, lack of facilities to meet the needs of beach users, and a lack of biodiversity and conservation practices.

She said indicator of a ‘happy’ beach include: effective marine debris strategy, designated beach access, community participation in beach management, facilities to meet the needs of beach users and healthy coastal ecosystem.

Applications for the competition will open on Saturday 21 March and close on Monday 20 April 2015. Coastal councils or community groups wishing to enter will find an online submission form at www.happybeaches.org