A new environmental sensing buoy will be placed north of Chicago this summer, making it easier than ever for Illinois boaters and beach-goers to spend a fun, safe day on the water.
Like its counterpart in Michigan City, IN, the nearshore buoy will relay information on wave height and direction, wind speed, and air and surface water temperatures in near real time. A webcam will also make it possible to watch changing lake conditions first-hand.
Earlier this week, a new environmental monitoring buoy joined a chain of similar buoys that are increasing boating and swimming safety and helping anglers target specific species of fish from Ludington, MI to Michigan City, IN.
From Michigan Live:
Deployed roughly two miles off the shores of South Haven on Wednesday, the buoy can distribute improved wind and wave observations in addition to measuring wind speed, wind direction, air temperature, relative humidity, solar radiation, water temperature and wave height among other variables.
“Given South Haven’s strong connection to Lake Michigan I am excited for the addition of this station to the regional buoy network,” South Haven Mayor Robert Burr said in a statement. “The city’s goal is to provide area boaters, swimmers, and water safety professionals with up-to-date lake conditions. Conditions on the big lake can change fast and we want everyone to be prepared when venturing out on the water.
Click on the link above to read the complete article. And visit our buoy website to learn more about how real-time data is helping weather forecasters and researchers better understand the nearshore waters of Lake Michigan.
**Photo: Boaters and swimmers enjoy the water at South Haven Beach
Buoy-watchers will have more to look forward to in 2014, as this winter the buoy will be getting an upgrade. Thanks in part to a grant from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources Lake Michigan Coastal Program awarded to IISG’s Tomas Hӧӧk, the buoy will broadcast real-time temperatures at different depths during the 2014 season and beyond. The buoy has always collected surface water temperature, but now it will also collect temperatures approximately every three feet from the surface to the bottom of the lake.
“We are very excited to install this chain of temperature loggers”, said Carolyn Foley, IISG assistant research coordinator who will help implement the new chain. “A number of groups told us they would use this information, from kayakers wanting to know if it’s warm enough to go for a paddle to anglers wanting to know where the best fishing will be.”
We would like to hear from anyone who uses the buoy data, particularly anglers, paddlers, and others who use southern Lake Michigan for recreation, as well as educators interested in using buoy data in their classrooms. If you 1) are an educator in grades 8-12 interested in participating in a workshop to acquire data sets for teaching and to develop lesson plans with buoy data, 2) have feedback related to improving the buoy website, and/or 3) would like to suggest an outdoor show for us to attend, please send us an email (email@example.com) with “Buoy feedback” in the subject line. We expect to redeploy buoy in mid-May 2014.
Special thanks to the staff of the Indiana DNR Michigan City Field Office for their help deploying and retrieving the buoy.
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