Campbell River Community Observatory

The Campbell River community observatory is located within Kwakwaka'wakw and Coast Salish Territory, an area known as Leqwildox in the Kwak'wala language. The Campbell River community observatory, installed March 2016, is one of several community observatories being installed along the coast of British Columbia. As coastal communities face a wide range of rapid environmental changes, real-time data from cabled observatories can be used by community members when making informed decisions about their coastal and marine resources.

Discovery Passage has seen progressive growth of marine traffic and use over the years and the number and size of vessels may continue to increase if further development in the area occurs. It is important to have baseline data of the local marine environment before additional development begins. The publicly available scientific data from ONC observatories will contribute to the assessment of any long term, cumulative, or accident-related impacts.

ONC is installing a community observatory at the Campbell River Discovery Fishing Pier located next to the Maritime Heritage Centre and the Discovery Passage Aquarium. This observatory is equipped with a shore station that has a weather station and shore camera. The shore station is cabled to subsurface instruments that track and record local water property measurements, the underwater sound of whales and vessels, and livestream video from an underwater camera. Data from the instruments is streamed to a server in the Maritime Heritage Centre, and then from there it is relayed to UVic and made available to everyone over the Internet. An Automatic Identification System (AIS) antenna is also installed at this location to track large vessels.

In addition, at the Cape Mudge lighthouse on Quadra Island (known in the Kwak'wala language as Tsa-Kwa-Luten which means "gathering place") ONC has installed a WaMoS RADAR system capable of measuring surface currents, wave heights, and wave direction.

Highlights from the Campbell River Community Observatory Deployment

View on YouTube

Latest Readings


Shore Station Instrumentation


Underwater Instrumentation


On Shore Camera


Video starts about 4PM local time.

Underwater Camera

Campbell River Underwater Camera Update April 18th, 2016

The Campbell River Community Observatory is surrounded by a metal frame (see above photos). The frame is designed to protect the instrument from logs and other heavy material that could be transported by the strong currents and could potentially damage the instruments. Shortly after deployment (March 17th, 2016) sediment from the seafloor started accumulating inside the frame and started to pile up obstructing the field of view of the camera. The currents brought more and more sediment inside the frame until the field of view became completely blocked resulting in camera being turned off for the time being. The Community Observatory will be repositioned to alleviate the current issues with the sediments in the summer of 2016.

ROV video footage taken during the installation of the Community Observatory on March 17th, 2016. View on YouTube


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