A new NOAA “smart buoy” deployed near the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel will help boaters and fishermen in the Chesapeake to check conditions at the mouth of the Bay.
The highly sophisticated buoy is the newest addition to NOAA’s Chesapeake Bay Interpretive Buoy System (CBIBS), a network of buoys that transmit multi-use oceanographic and meteorological data from the bay to weather forecasters, maritime safety personnel, coastal decision makers, and recreational boaters and fishermen.
Managed by NOAA’s Chesapeake Bay Office, CBIBS buoys collect weather, oceanographic and water-quality observations and transmit this data wirelessly in near-real time. These measurements and related educational resources can be accessed at http://buoybay.noaa.gov (http://www.buoybay.noaa.gov/m for mobile devices) and by toll-free phone at 877-BUOY-BAY (877-286-9229).
This information is also available via free Android and iPhone applications. CBIBS uses new technology to make information available for a broad range of research, commercial, and recreational purposes, including assessing the progress of bay restoration.
In addition to weather and water data, users can also use the website and toll free number to learn more about the voyages of Captain John Smith and their encounters with indigenous peoples 400 years ago. Each buoy in the system serves as an educational reference point along the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail, which in addition to education also serves as a mechanism for recreation, and tourism in the Chesapeake Bay region.
The other nine buoys in the network are located at the mouths of the Susquehanna, Patapsco, Severn, Potomac, and Rappahannock Rivers; in the main stem of the bay near Calvert County, Md.; in the Potomac River near Alexandria, Va.; in the James River near Jamestown; and in the Elizabeth River off Norfolk.