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.