Imagine being able to see what’s going on in the underwater world beneath your feet while standing on the Discovery Pier.
The Discovery Passage Sealife Society, the group behind the Aquarium, is hoping to make that a reality – as early as next spring.
The society is trying to secure funding to install an outdoor touch screen kiosk at the pier that will highlight the local marine world, as well as local ocean science projects and technology.
A remotely controlled underwater video camera would stream live images to the pier screen to give viewers a glimpse into what’s happening below the surface.
The kiosk would be accessible year-round and tell the stories surrounding the pier and Discovery Passage through short high-quality video documentaries, images, graphics, text and animations and wildlife guides.
Mark Wunsch, president of the Discovery Passage Sealife Society, said the society has worked relentlessly over the last five years to provide opportunities for both tourists and Campbell Riverites to learn about local marine and coastal life and the touch screen would only add to those efforts.
“With the pier screen we want to expand on these opportunities through innovative and user-friendly technology for sharing stores and enabling live underwater observation in a free, year-round accessible installation,” Wunsch said.
He added that the whole system would be waterproof and vandal-resistant and visitors would be sheltered from inclement weather by an open rain shelter around the kiosk.
The project is worth $112,000 (in-kind and cash). Funding of $40,000 has already been confirmed, including $20,000 from the Rotary Club of Campbell River, $15,000 from Fortis BC and $5,000 from Ocean Networks Canada.
The society has asked the City of Campbell River for $12,000.
Whether or not the society will receive that money still remains to be seen as at last week’s Tuesday meeting council put off making a decision.
Council voted to defer the item to 2017 financial planning sessions that are coming up in early December. The item will be up for discussion as a Service Level Change Request for next year’s budget.