Thursday, November 5, 2015

Plans in motion for study of marine safety and environmental factors for Prince Rupert area

The south end of the runway at
Prince Rupert's Digby Island airport
may soon feature a new
environmental reporting station
A twenty year program may soon be underway on the North Coast, as Oceans Network Canada, through the University of Victoria begins a process to observe marine conditions and the environment with a focus on areas of the region that may soon see expanded economic development.

The first step in that program will feature the installation of a monitoring station for the program to be located on Digby Island.

A notice regarding the proposed study was posted to the the Provincial Government's land use website in late October, a document which outlines the terms of the proposed monitoring station, which would be placed on the west side of Digby Island.

It's main function will be to provide baseline information towards three goals, enhancing marine safety, improving public safety and providing for long term monitoring of the marine environment of the North Coast.

The proposed monitoring station would consist of a structure ten feet by ten feet, located 1700 metres south of the runway to the Digby Island airport runway, from that shore station a 500 to 750 metre cable would link the station to a community observatory located offshore of Digby Island.

Some of the key points that ONC is making towards their proposal are some of the benefits to the community which will include:

A high definition video camera providing confirmation of visual conditions near the airport.

A weather station that would monitor air temperature, humidity, wind speed and direction  as well as solar radiation. That station would augment current weather observation equipment in the area and would be useful for aviation related operations.

The site would feature a radar system to measure surface currents, which could be used to support search and rescue operations related to airport operations

While the potential for the addition of other equipment either land based, or on the ocean could be beneficial towards safety and operation of the aviation business in the region.

The location of the proposed
monitoring equipment on
Digby Island
If approved ONC will design, install and maintain the appropriate observatory equipment after holding discussions and seeking consent from industry and local community groups.

The program is initially planned to operate for at least twenty years, though there is the prospect of an extension beyond that.

From their work on the North Coast, OCN plans to  capture information and share it freely over the Internet in real time and archive the findings for reference and future use for research.

As part of the process ahead for the group, comments are being accepted by the province in regarding to the proposed land use, with comments accepted until the end of the month.

You can find more information on the proposal and provide your comments through this item from the Natural Resource Operations website.

For a look at some of the other research projects taken on by Oceans Network Canada see their website here.

No comments:

Post a Comment