NOAA's Newest Smart Buoy Deployed in the York River

Jul 20, 2016

Scientists, anglers, weather watchers and boaters just got a boost yesterday when a NOAA Chesapeake Bay smart buoy was deployed at the mouth of the York River. 

Katie Kirk attaches sensors to the York Spit Smart Buoy.

A who's who of state and federal scientific organizations gathered at the foot of the Coleman Bridge at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science. Swimmers, anglers and kayakers will also benefit from this tenth Chesapeake Bay smart buoy.

“The buoys provide a large amount of information that is available to everyone who downloads the app that's important for water quality purposes, fish habitats, and provides information for the Captain John Smith Trail,” says Virginia's Secretary of Natural Resources Molly Ward. Joseph Safranek, a member of the Coast Guard Auxiliary says the buoys help crews determine what to wear.

“We use the system on a regular basis to track water temperature, wind speed, etc. before our crews deploy out on patrol missions.”

The York Spit buoy will also feed data to the National Weather Service in Wakefield. VIMS' William Reay who is also director of the Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Reserve says measurements are real-time taken every 15 minutes. Besides the stinging nettle forecast that swimmers so appreciate, Reay says anglers will also be delighted with the new buoy placement.

“This buoy is going to be used heavily by the recreational fishing community. It's sitting at one of the prime spots in all of Chesapeake Bay. So a lot of different users.”

For more information on how to use Virginia's ten buoys, go to NOAA's website or call 877-BUOY-BAY.