China Creek is located within the traditional territory of the Nuučaan̓uł (Nuu-chah-nulth or Nootka) people of Vancouver Island. Cultural and archaeological records show tha China Creek is an acient village site. The China Creek site is scientifically and oceanographically interesting to both the local and scientific communities. The inlet is an important salmon spawning and marine vessel route.
Observatories collect real-time, long-term data on the state of the ocean environment and provide data to support decision making in coastal communities. This observatory has been carefully placed to ensure it is in the deepest part of the inlet, away from the pulp mill and fishing activity. Over time, data collected at this observatory will provide baseline conditions at the site.
The underwater platform, located approximately 40 m from the shore and at a depth of 100 m on the ocean floor, connects instruments to the Internet via a subsea cable, and includes:
- a video camera that captures and monitors sea life and seafloor changes;
- a hydrophone that records the sounds of marine mammals, fish, and vessels, and detects earthquakes and underwater landslides; and,
- additional instruments that measure temperature, salinity, oxygen, and turbidity to provide data on changing ocean conditions.
All data are available through Ocean Networks Canada at the University of Victoria where they are analyzed, archived, and made available for free to the public at www.oceannetworks.ca