NOAA Deploys Potomac River Smart Buoy near Washington, D.C.

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In May, 2010, The NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office deployed a “smart buoy” in the Potomac River, just south of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge. The buoy is the newest in NOAA’s Chesapeake Bay Interpretive Buoy System (CBIBS), a network that provides scientists, boaters, and educators with real-time data about the Bay.

CBIBS buoys collect weather, oceanographic and water-quality observations and transmit this data wirelessly in near-real time. These measurements, along with historical information, can be accessed at ( for mobile devices) and by phone at 877-BUOY-BAY (877-286-9229). CBIBS uses new technology to make information available for a broad range of measurements, including bay restoration progress. Online educational resources are also available.

Buoys in the system also mark points along the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail, which highlights the natural history of the Bay.  The trail also provides opportunities for recreation, education, and tourism in the Chesapeake Bay region, and encourages stewardship of the bay.

“We are pleased that NOAA and the National Park Service continue to expand their innovative approach to combining scientific research support for the Chesapeake Bay with interpretive services for the public,” said John Maounis, superintendent of the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail. “With this eighth smart buoy on the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail, boaters and paddlers through this treasured landscape can learn more about Captain Smith’s visit here to the upper Potomac.”

This is the eighth buoy in the CBIBS system. Buoys deployed earlier are located at the mouths of the Susquehanna, Patapsco, Severn, Potomac, and Rappahannock Rivers, in the James River near Jamestown, and the Elizabeth River off Norfolk.

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