, ,

Thawing Ice Allows Re-Deploying Of Great Lakes Data Buoys

A Dozen Research Institutions Operate Buoys In Lakes

Lake Michigan at Sheboygan
Royal Broil (CC-BY-SA 2.0)

As ice thaws around the Great Lakes, technicians are preparing to re-deploy buoys that gather a wealth of information for use in research, water safety efforts and recreation.

About a dozen research institutions operate buoys in the lakes. Many of them provide data to the nonprofit Great Lakes Observing System, which makes it available online. Its website offers real-time data from the buoys, which are returned to the water as soon as harbors and boat launches are ice-free.

It can help boaters and anglers avoid potentially dangerous conditions, while scientists get material that feeds computer models predicting weather and other lake characteristics.

Stay informed on the latest news

Sign up for WPR’s email newsletter.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Ed Verhamme, of the Ann Arbor-based engineering firm LimnoTech, said spring can be a particularly hazardous season, as conditions are often rough and change quickly.