Orcasound Lab, San Juan Island, Washington

M2 Deployed Here!

Location Summary

Centered within the summertime habitat of the endangered Southern Resident killer whales (SRKW), Orcasound Lab is also a good place to listen for ships passing through Haro Strait and boats traveling along the west side of San Juan Island. In the fall you can hear humpbacks, and in the summer male harbor seals vocalize nearby. The hydrophones were first deployed in 2002 and are currently just beyond the kelp about 30m offshore at a depth of 8m. Orcasound Lab is hosted by Beam Reach, a social purpose corporation based in Seattle.

As of November 2018, Orcasound Lab started streaming from ITC hydrophones with custom pre-amps mounted on PVC tripods 1-2m above the gravel bottom and a binaural array with elements from LabCore Systems (Lon Brocklehurst) and Cetacean Research Technology (Joe Olson). Cables traverse the rocky intertidal within a drainage pipe protection and then run data-logging and streaming computers. Custom software written in Visual Basic by Val Veirs assesses average underwater sound levels and automatically detects “unusual” sounds.

The M2 system installed at Orcasound Lab can help show how vessel traffic and noise can impact the critical habitat of the endangered SRKWs. This is the first M2 system installed in conjunction with a hydrophone system.

Partners in Conservation

M2 System Deployments

In Progress
Funding Opportunities

Contact our team to learn more about M2!

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