NOAA Deploys Smart Buoy

Monday, July 21, 2008

The NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office will deploy a “smart buoy” at the mouth of the to take observations of the Bay's changing conditions. A part of the Chesapeake Bay Interpretive Buoy System (CBIBS), this is the fourth interpretative buoy to mark the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail.

The buoy will be deployed off Stingray Point, near , to mark the 400th anniversary of Captain John Smith's exploration of the region. In July 1608, while using a sword to fish in shallow waters near the mouth of the , Smith was stung by a stingray and nearly died. The peninsula where this incident occurred was later named "Stingray Point."

The buoy collects weather, oceanographic and water-quality observations and transmits this data wirelessly in near-real time. These measurements, as well as historical and cultural information about the Bay, can be accessed at and by phone at 877-BUOY-BAY (877-286-9229). CBIBS is the only operational buoy system in the Bay dedicated to maintaining the broad range of measurements necessary to track Bay restoration progress. Online educational resources are also available.

Glackin and U.S. Representative (VA) Robert Wittman will participate in a deployment ceremony at Stingray Point Saturday as part of the region's commemoration of Smith's explorations during the summer of 1608. "Placement of this NOAA buoy is an important addition to the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail and an important tool to gain additional scientific and ecological information about the ," said Wittman.

This is the second Chesapeake Bay Interpretive Buoy in the Commonwealth, the other buoy is located at , Additional buoys are currently in operation in at the mouth of the Potomac River and at the mouth of the near . Two more buoys will be launched later this summer on the Elizabeth River at Norfolk, Virginia and one on the Susquehanna River off Havre de Grace, Maryland.

The Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail covers 3,000 miles along parts of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries along routes taken by Captain John Smith in 1607 and 1608 to chart the land and waterways of the . The trail highlights the natural history of the Bay and provides new opportunities for recreation, education, and tourism in the region, and encourages stewardship of this national treasure.

The NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office focuses NOAA’s capabilities in science, service, and stewardship to protect and restore the .

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