Contact: Ben Sherman
5 /3/06
NOAA News Releases 2006
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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has positioned a demonstration interpretive buoy in Annapolis Harbor that reports real-time water-quality and weather observations via wireless technology. The buoy will be in place through the Maryland Maritime Heritage Festival (May 4-7), and demonstrates capabilities that NOAA's Chesapeake Bay Office is developing as part of the new Chesapeake Bay Interpretive Buoy System.

Buoys in the system will be distributed around the bay collecting and making available many real-time measurements including meteorological, physical, water quality, water level, chemical, and biological observations. Data from the buoys, including other environmental, geographic, and historical information, will be delivered to users via the internet once the system goes operational in 2007. The public will also be able to access observations directly from buoys via wireless technology on such devices as Blackberry™ or Treo™ phones.

“We want to introduce the concept to the public during this week's Maryland Maritime Heritage Festival,” said Doug Wilson, coordinator of the NOAA’s Chesapeake Bay Office’s Coastal Observations Program. “We hope it reminds people that they can access a wealth of information, including real-time observations, via NOAA web sites.”

A special presentation of the buoy technology will be available at the NOAA exhibit area at the festival which is part of the Volvo Ocean Race activities this week in Annapolis. NOAA is an official race sponsor, providing meteorological and charting data to the race competitors, and educational content to schools tracking the round-the-world race.

In addition to providing real-time observations, NOAA's Chesapeake Bay Office plans to use the buoys to support community education and classroom activities. The buoys will be part of the planned Chesapeake Bay Interpretive Buoy System and Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Water Trail. The first fully developed buoy will be in place in the James River in time for the commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown, Virginia, in April 2007.

The NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office, through NOAA's Office of Education, received $500,000 earlier this year to develop a prototype Chesapeake Bay Interpretive Buoy. The NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office will provide an additional $100,000 to develop classroom and community activities through the NOAA Bay Watershed Education and Training Program (B-WET).

Working with interested partners, the NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office will develop the buoy’s technical, educational, and interactive components. The buoy will provide observations via the internet to nearby boaters and kayakers as well as far away students in the classroom. In addition to education, the buoy will have many other recreational, commercial, and maritime applications. It is hoped that the prototype will serve as the first in an interactive system of buoys that will be placed throughout the bay as part of the John Smith Water Trail.

NOAA’s Chesapeake Bay Office is in its second decade of providing science, service, and stewardship to advance NOAA’s mission in the mid-Atlantic region and to protect and restore the Chesapeake Bay through its programs in fisheries management, habitat restoration, coastal observations, and education.

NOAA, an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of the nation's coastal and marine resources. Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with its federal partners, 61 countries and the European Commission to develop a global network that is as integrated as the planet it observes, predicts and protects.

On the Web:


NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office:

Chesapeake Bay Interpretive Buoy:

Volvo Ocean Race Learning Adventures:

NOAA/AOML / Coast-Watch Volvo Ocean Race Page: