Before large-scale implementation of marine renewable energy can move forward, it is necessary to understand the environmental impacts of these devices to ensure that the benefits of marine energy outweigh the environmental costs. Environmental monitoring around pilot scale installations can help to close the knowledge gaps surrounding the environmental effects of marine energy devices. Instrumentation to perform this research must provide data about environmental interactions that may occur frequently with low consequence (e.g. a marine mammal reacting to underwater noise) as well as interactions that may occur infrequently with high consequence (e.g. a marine mammal collision with a device). Additionally, this instrumentation must be able to perform reliably over extended periods in harsh environments.