Ocean Networks Canada’s Mercedes McLean and Jessica Brown show off data maps on the North Coast at the ANBT.

Hear whales, dolphin noises at North Coast observatories, video and story

The sounds of the ocean will soon be available to hear within the Prince Rupert area, video and story

The sounds of the ocean, whales and dolphins singing or the movement of massive ships coming into port will soon be available to the Prince Rupert area once two ocean monitoring systems are installed in March.

Two representatives from Ocean Networks Canada, a University of Victoria initiative, were at the All Native Basketball Tournament last week to share the details at a booth on marine technology that is coming to the area.

“So much activity is happening here,” said indigenous community liaison, Jessica Brown noting the port expansion, increased marine traffic and the potential development of liquefied natural gas terminals. “It’s important to have a baseline (of data) before things change.”

The data collected from the observatories will be accessible to the public and will offer an array of environmental and scientific information. For example, the data will improve the science involved in understanding earthquakes and underwater landslides. The observatory will also monitor ship tracking and incident responses. In addition the initiative will provide educational outreach to students in the area.

A community observatory is going to be set up on Tsimshian territory on the west side of Digby Island near the airport. It will have a shore station that will record local water quality, the sounds of marine mammals and vessels and live stream from the underwater camera. The observatory will also have an Automatic Identification System (AIS) to track vessels coming into the region as well as a Coastal Ocean Dynamics Applications (CODAR) radar system to measure surface current speed and direction.

“If there are any changes people have that data set,” Brown said. “It could influence policy and decision makers.”

A second observatory is proposed for the west side of Ridley Island. It would triangulate with the radar system on Digby Island to create surface current maps with a range of 20 to 30 km. Another device would be installed on this site to gather a higher resolution of wave heights and direction.

Ocean Networks Canada started a cable observatory off the Straight of Georgia 10 years ago and is in the process of bringing the technology further along the B.C. coast. For a year and a half representatives from the initiative have travelled to different First Nations communities to get community engagement approval for setting up an observatory in their area.

There is also an observatory proposed for Kitamaat Village, Hartley Bay, Campbell River and one along the West Coast of Vancouver Island. The City of Prince Rupert and the Port of Prince Rupert were also consulted on the design and installation.

“A web portal will be set up to provide easier access for community members. We want schools to participate in the Ocean Sense program,” said Mercedes McLean, the indigenous community learning coordinator.

The program is to connect people to the sounds and sights of the ocean to help them understand that the health of the ocean is important for the health of the planet. Teachers can use the data and resources from the community observatories to explore oceanographic instruments with students and learn more about marine science.


Just Posted

Council briefs: Gurney marks one year as Lester Centre’s manager, marina revenues down

Council supports Métis Awareness week but has concern over raising Infinity Flag

In-brief: Electric charging station available in Prince Rupert, Metlakatla senior housing taking applications

Weather dampens paving plans on McBride, The Northern View Cannery Road Race is coming down the road

Prince Rupert shuttle service set to get underway

New shuttle bus between Prince Rupert and Terrace

VIDEO: Kaien Anti-Poverty Society hoping to raise $20K in 50/50 community bingo nights

KAPS is looking to raise money for a new vehicle to support their growing food program

Heart of Our City: Kaps off to Colleen Hermanson

Colleen Hermanson began working in social services as early as 1968

Captain, all-star, MVP, and all about the team

Brittanne O’Connor’s drive to create Prince Rupert’s own women’s team has led to success and inspiration

The Northern View announces inaugural Tyee Fishing Derby in Prince Rupert

More than $7,000 up for grabs for biggest legal salmon and halibut

The Northern View 2019 Readers Choice

It’s that time of year again! Vote online or at the Prince Rupert office before noon on Aug. 30

B.C. manhunt suspects left cellphone video before they died: family

Family member says Kam McLeod, Bryer Schmegelsky recorded final wishes

Okanagan bus driver assaulted for asking patron not to smoke

59-year-old in hospital with non-life threatening injuries

B.C. sets rules for ride hailing, same minimum fee as taxis

Larger operating areas seen as threat by cab companies

Two hiking families team up to extinguish fire in B.C. backcountry

Children and their parents worked for three hours to ensure safety of the popular hiking region

Most Read