Salmon Coast strives to be sustainable in its operations and the station is completely off-grid. We offer facilities, resources, and utilities, including solar showers, wood stoves, kitchens, and laboratories. We are also just around the corner from the small community of Echo Bay, which has a small general store that sells basic supplies and marine fuel.
Our goal is to provide simple, functional, and sustainable facilities at the most economic rates possible.
Nestled on the forested hillside are two houses and some sleeping cabins. The Main House comfortably sleeps eight, and boasts a spacious kitchen, cold room for food storage, large dining area, cozy communal living room, full bathroom with propane-heated hot-water shower, wood stove, and drying racks.
The Main House has one single and one double private bedroom and one dormitory-style bunk room. There is also a small sleeping loft above the research lab with a single bed. Grandma’s House has two private bedrooms (one single, one double), and a dormitory room with two sets of single bunk-beds. It also has a small kitchen, full washroom with shower, living and dining area, laundry room, wood stove, and drying racks. The Guest Cabin has two beds, one on the main floor and one in a small loft. It also has electricity, but no other facilities. We also have two tenting platforms. The Station Coordinators stay in a small cabin at the top of the property.
The dock is 60′ x 60′ with lots of dry storage space, a wet lab, and a solar shower. Salmon Coast offers moorage space for research vessels and visitors, as well as landing space for floatplanes.
The wet laboratory on the dock is a room of approximately 14′ x 16′ in size, with lighting, power outlets, aquaria, and shelving units. It also has the capacity to facilitate flow-through fresh or salt water. Researchers must bring the specific equipment required for their projects.
A large office in the Main House offers space for research, dry laboratory work, and administrative tasks. Researchers must provide their own computers, but have access to a printer, scanner, and wifi.
The workshop offers plenty of room for construction and repair tasks, as well as tools and materials for on-site projects. With permission from the Station Coordinators, volunteers and researchers can use the station tools, or bring their own.
Salmon Coast is famous for its terraced gardens, home to delicious kale salads, elaborate composts, and a greenhouse. Harvested plants include kale, potatoes, mustard greens, squash, spinach, garlic, beans, nasturtiums, Chinese greens, lettuces, garlic, onions, patty pans, tomatoes, peppers, and Brussel sprouts. Salmon Coast also harvests berries such as huckleberries, salmonberries, blueberries, strawberries, and salal; and herbs such as lavender, oregano, mint, chives, and cilantro. Our composts, along with harvested kelp from the ocean, enrich the soil to produce the bounty that we rely on through the seasons.
The station is off the grid, and has a large 24 V battery bank, which is charged by a large solar panel array (particularly in the summer months), a microhydro system (during times of high water flow, such as spring and fall), and a gasoline-fuelled generator (when necessary). The Salmon Coast can provide 120 or 240 AC current. If a research project has high power requirements, the researcher is asked to contact us ahead of time to ensure that we can handle such needs, and so that we can make special arrangements if necessary. All users are asked to turn off all lights and unplug appliances when not in use.
Our water is gravity-fed from a creek. Tanks provide storage for drinking water, gardening, and fire suppression. In the Main House, one tap is dedicated to potable water, which has been treated by reverse osmosis and ultraviolet rays. Other outlets provide untreated water, which is also potable, but contains cedar tannins. In seasons of low water or freezing temperatures, conservation measures take effect.
Woodstoves are the only source of heat at Salmon Coast. Woodsheds on the property are supplied with axes and hatchets, and it is the collective responsibility of station users to continually stock these woodsheds. All cooking ranges and hot-water heaters are fueled by propane.
There is wireless satellite internet in all dry-land living and working spaces.
Salmon Coast now has cellphone reception over a very limited area, thanks to a signal booster installed in 2014.
The station has one generator-powered washing machine. Users must provide their own laundry detergent for personal laundry, only wash laundry when absolutely necessary, and should consider hand-washing clothes to save fuel. (Sun-warmed hot water is available at the solar shower on warm days!) Clothes are dried outside, or on indoor drying racks. Station users may also take their laundry, especially large loads, to the laundromats in Port McNeill during town trips.
SCFS uses a Davis Vantage Pro 2 weather station to monitor a range of weather variables such wind, rain, UVA and UVB. This weather station is part of a larger Broughton Archipelago weather station array, which ranges from Knight Inlet to Wells Pass.