The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has launched its eighth “smart buoy” in the Chesapeake Bay region as part of a network of interpretive buoys that display real-time information about environmental conditions.
The buoy was deployed in the upper Potomac River near Washington, D.C.
The network of buoys, called the Chesapeake Bay Interpretive Buoy System (CBIBS), reports real-time weather and water conditions, such as salinity, temperature and wind speed, at each buoy location. People can call a toll-free number or visit buoybay.org to access the buoy data at home or on the water.
The buoys are set up at points along the Captain John Smith Trail, which Smith traveled during his 1608 voyage of the Chesapeake Bay and its rivers. Each buoy also offers historic information about what John Smith may have encountered at that location during his exploration.
At the newly deployed upper Potomac Buoy, interpretive podcasts explain that John Smith is believed to have visited the area twice in June of 1608 when he and his crew visited the Patawomeck tribe and then continued upriver in search of the Northwest Passage to the Pacific Ocean.
In addition to the upper Potomac River buoy, interpretive buoys are located in the Susquehanna, Patapsco, Severn, lower Potomac rivers in Maryland and the Rappahannock, James and Elizabeth rivers in Virginia.
For more information about the Upper Potomac River buoy and the rest of the interpretive buoy system, visit buoybay.org.