Crown Royal maneuvers the ocean observatory platform into place near Digby Island.

Ocean observatories launched on the North Coast, video and story

Data is already streaming from Prince Rupert to Victoria through the newly installed ocean observatories positioned around the North Coast



Data is already streaming from Prince Rupert to Victoria through the newly installed ocean observatories positioned around the North Coast.

It took Ocean Networks Canada (ONC) two years to get to this point of officially launching community observatories in Kitimat and in Prince Rupert on the west side of Digby Island and instrumentation on Ridley Island.

The ONC team are part of a University of Victoria initiative to collect and archive data from ocean observatories along the B.C. coast to help inform public policy on earthquakes, climate change, marine safety and coastal conservation.

Maia Hoeberechts, associate director of user services for ONC, was at the NorthWest Community College for the public information session on March 31. She wanted to stress that all the information is freely available to the public on the ONC website once the data has been received and documented.

“It will take two months of validation to make sure the instruments are delivering data,” Hoeberechts said. The organization is already receiving data at the University of Victoria, but they have to be sure there are no kinks in the system.

“Then the real discoveries will take two to 10 years,” she said.

The community observatory on Digby Island has an underwater, cabled seafloor platform with live-streams from a video camera. It also has a hydrophone to record noises from whales and vessels, and an instrument to record local water quality.

Ridley Island has a land-based observatory equipped with a video camera to monitor environmental conditions and an automatic identification system antenna, which can track and record vessel traffic in the area.

The long road to installation involved acquiring approval from First Nation communities, provincial and federal levels of government and land owners where the instrumentation would be located. Then ONC had to wait out the winter for better weather conditions.

With the arrival of the new scientific equipment along the coast, Northwest Community College is also introducing a new instrument technology course in January 2017.

“The observatories offer hands-on experience and could lead to survey work,” Hoeberechts said.

For example, the hydrophone, the underwater microphone at the observatory on Digby Island, could offer experience to students learning how to survey noise in the ocean. Elementary and high school students in the region can also tap into the data posted online and learn more about the surrounding underwater environment.

The operation and maintenance of the observatories is projected to last more than 20 years and over that time the public can keep track of changes happening on the coast along with researchers in Victoria.

 

Just Posted

Houston homicide suspect remanded in custody

A Houston man accused of the second degree murder of Elija Dumont… Continue reading

Ottawa urges CN and union to continue talks as 3,200 workers go on strike

The rail workers began their strike after failing to reach a deal by a midnight deadline

Prince Rupert 2030 Vision ready to be shared with the public

Redesign Rupert is unveiling their plan for the city

Hazelton aces their way to gold at Grade 8 girls volleyball zones

Smithers schools grab silver and bronze at Prince Rupert Middle School tournament

Q&A with Lax Kw’alaams Mayor John Helin

Helin spoke about topics in his community ahead of the village’s upcoming election

Your Prince Rupert 55th Rotary Auction guide

Online guide to all the items up for bid before Monday’s live auction

B.C. man gets 23 years for murder of Belgian tourist near Boston Bar

Sean McKenzie pleaded guilty to second-degree murder of 28-year-old Amelie Christelle Sakkalis

‘Very disrespectful’: B.C. first responder irked by motorists recording collisions on cellphones

Central Cariboo Search and Rescue deputy chief challenges motorists to break the habit

Daily cannabis linked to reduction in opioid use: B.C. researchres

Researchers looked at a group of 1,152 people in Vancouver who reported substance use and chronic pain

Bids down, costs up on Highway 1, B.C. independent contractors say

Rally protests NDP government’s union-only public construction

Members of little people community applaud change to drop ‘midget’ term

‘It’s not about sensitivity,’ says Allan Redford, the president of the Little People of Canada

Little progress in preventing sudden infant deaths since last report: BC Coroner

Coroners panel studied 141 sleep-related sudden infant deaths between 2013 and 2018

Most Read