Today, Ocean Networks Canada (ONC), an initiative of the University of Victoria, is installing a community observatory at the Discovery Pier in Campbell River, within Kwakwa̱ka̱ʼwakw and Coast Salish territories in the Strait of Georgia.
The community observatory includes an underwater, cabled seafloor platform equipped with a live-streaming video camera, instruments that record local water quality, and a hydrophone that records the underwater sounds of whales and vessels.
On the dock, a weather station and above-ground camera will monitor environmental conditions 24/7. All the data will be streamed to Campbell River’s Marine Heritage Centre and from there, to UVic. Data is freely available for downloading through the ONC website link listed below.
A new radar system will monitor the surface waters nearby, providing data on surface currents and vessel traffic near the Cape Mudge Lighthouse on Quadra Island.
Coastal communities are facing a wide range of rapid environmental changes that are impacting their local ocean. ONC’s Smart Ocean™ Systems initiative received funding from Western Economic Diversification in 2014 to install a number of ocean observatories along the BC coast. Similar installations will take place off Prince Rupert and Kitamaat Village later this month.
ONC operates world-leading cabled observatories in the northeast Pacific Ocean and Salish Sea, and a community observatory in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut. By continuously collecting and archiving data from the ocean, these observatories support scientific study and help us make informed decisions about earthquakes and tsunamis, climate change, coastal management, conservation and marine safety.
Learn more about the Campbell River observatory at www.oceannetworks.ca/learning/community-observatories/campbell-river.