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Autonomous Underwater Vehicle

Georgian Bay Forever has revolutionized water quality monitoring in Georgian Bay, by partnering with three Canadian Universities to purchase the first Canadian Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) which will drastically improve water quality data measurement.

The AUV  is a sophisticated piece of equipment that needs ongoing maintenance to keep it in great working condition year after year. Your investment in supporting the operating costs and ongoing maintenance of the i3XO AUV will help us to provide a science-based understanding of the Georgian Bay waters to local government, leading to more informed and environmentally conscious policies, plans, and protective measures.

We could not have
done it without you!

Georgian Bay Forever donors generously provided $80,000 towards this purchase.

We are pleased to recognize Phillip and Eli Taylor, Frank and Patricia Mills, Brian and Sabine Thomson, and Michael and Jackie Green. We also received grant money from ECCC through the Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve for this equipment.

Thanks to a mutually beneficial partnership with the University of Western Ontario, Wilfrid Laurier University, and the University of Waterloo, we will now have the ability to model the impacts of climate change, water levels, increasing urban development, industrial or municipal spills, sewage overflows, septic failures, bacterial contamination, and the success of conservation measures. We are now able to consistently collect data in a way that allows us to monitor water quality trends from year to year, and detect and map improvements and declines in areas throughout the Bay. 


See the AUV Launch as described by CTV Barrie by clicking here

Radioworkz Parry Sound writes about the AUV's name. Read the story here.


Key Features of the AUV



The compact i3XO AUV is not only sophisticated in terms of the type of water quality data it can collect, but it’s also easy to use, has the ability to complete wide-area underwater surveys without the use of a boat, and requires little human support.


It can be launched from a dock by one person, run night or day underwater for 8-10 hours, and return to a rendezvous point for pick-up.


High-Tech Visuals

The machine is already being used

in the United States by

government agencies, the military,

universities, contractors, and

private organizations.


For the first time in Canada, we have a clear window into the quality of the Georgian Bay's water, with the ability to create high-resolution maps of watersheds and Digital Elevation Models (DEM), a 3D representation underwater areas.


Real-Time Data

We are now able to gather data with gradient colour maps of the entire bay, including fine details on topography and water flow.


Access to dramatically improved data sets uploaded to a computer will allow us to monitor and address local hotspots where water quality has been compromised. We have also added a GoPro camera to the AUV will also make it possible for us to create underwater video records.

Introducing Georgie McBayFace!

By: Helen Bryce, Chair of the Education Committee

Knowledge Sharing for Real Results

The data we collect with the AUV is for the benefit of the entire Georgian Bay ecosystem. With our long-term tracking and up-to-date knowledge, we are now able to better provide decision makers with the information needed for sustainability.


  • Federal, provincial and municipal governments will be able to make better-informed decisions about policies and regulations affecting Georgian Bay and the Great Lakes

  • Scientists will be better equipped to model and trend impacts on water quality

  • Coastal managers will be better prepared to protect the watershed

  • Federal, provincial and academic partners will be better able to collect the data they need for their research.

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