Off-Grid on the wild coast

All of our infrastructure is situated in very remote, exposed locations off the northeast coast of Vancouver Island in unceded Kwakwa̱ka̱ʼwakw territory. We are totally off-grid: powered largely by solar and wind with a backup generator. Our goal is to become entirely fossil-fuel-free.

The ability to collect data and stream live video & audio year-round is vital to our efforts. We have a dedicated on-site team and work with a network of experts to keep our systems up and running throughout even the harshest of coastal conditions.

Extensive monitoring network

Our monitoring network covers over 50sq kilometers of core Northern Resident orca habitat in Blackfish Sound, Blackney Pass and Johnstone Strait.

Over the past few decades our research capacity has grown significantly with the deployment of new hydrophone nodes and cameras at strategic locations.

SayOrca: Orca Calls App

We have developed a brand-new app containing the Northern Resident Orca Community call sets. Each matriline is unique with its own acoustic flavour, passed on through the generations.

SayOrca is free for all to download. If you enjoy the app, please consider making a donation and giving it a 5-star rating!

We hope SayOrca will encourage and inspire others to learn the sounds of these beautiful whales and connect people to the underwater world in a whole new way.

A huge thank you to Taylor Griffin and Quin McIntire for the development of the SayOrca app.

Novel remote technologies

Our network is a complex array of broadband radios, high-efficiency solar panels and batteries, remotely-operated cameras, and digital hydrophones. Each site requires something different and comes with a challenge of its own.

Renewable energy systems

Our research lab and all associated field sites are entirely off-grid. Over the years, we have had several upgrades which have allowed us to become less and less dependent on fossil fuels. Using a combination of solar panels, wind turbines and hydropower, we are able to run nearly fossil-fuel-free throughout the summer. Following a series of upgrades in 2022, our systems were online throughout the majority of the darkest winter months for the first time. Our ultimate goal is to become totally self-sufficient with renewable energy year-round.

British Columbia Hydrophone Network

The BCHN is a large-scale collaboration between several marine acoustic research stations along the BC Coast. Our shared goal is habitat protection for whales at risk of losing their pristine coastal habitats, as well as focusing on data collection to support recovery plans for each species.

Support Our Projects

Keeping our lab running is no mean feat! Every donation helps us maintain our infrastructure, keep cameras and hydrophones running and care for our environment.

Listen now

Stream our live hydrophone audio