Wave buoy renewed

College of the Marshall Islands Vice President Don Hess, US Ambassador Tom Armbruster, RMI Chief Meteorologist Reggie White, and PacIOOS’ Dan Fitzgerald and Kimball Millikan gathered just prior to boarding a boat to re-launch the wave buoy.
College of the Marshall Islands Vice President Don Hess, US Ambassador Tom Armbruster, RMI Chief Meteorologist Reggie White, and PacIOOS’ Dan Fitzgerald and Kimball Millikan gathered just prior to boarding a boat to re-launch the wave buoy.

The Pacific Islands Ocean Observing System (PacIOOS) redeployed its wave buoy outside of Majuro last week. Located about a half nautical mile off Delap Point, the yellow wave buoy measures wave height, direction, period, and sea surface temperature in 30 minute intervals.

The reinstalled buoy joins the existing PacIOOS network of 13 real-time wave buoys across the Pacific.

Wave buoy data benefit the entire community and are important to make well-informed decisions, say officials involved in the work. Real-time wave data are also vital to inform the community and emergency responders of big wave events that could impact the Marshall Islands.

Through generous partner contributions, PacIOOS was able to fund and redeploy the new wave buoy southeast of Majuro. A previous buoy was lost at sea, most likely due to a vessel collision. “The PacIOOS wave buoy is one of the RMI’s most important observing tools to assess ocean conditions and to evaluate the need for high surf as well as coastal inundation advisories and warnings,” said Reggie White, who heads NOAA’s National Weather Service Office in Majuro.

Zdenka Willis, Director of the US Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS), stresses, “The remote location of Pacific islands is unique within the IOOS system and shows how valuable wave and ocean observations are on a daily basis to make decisions. IOOS and PacIOOS are committed to equip Pacific islanders with the right data and tools to increase community resilience.”

Officials asked boat captains to refrain from tying to the buoy or fishing around it.

Involved in supporting the PacIOOS project are NOAA’s National Weather Service Pacific Region Headquarters, the RMI government via the Climate and Oceans Support Program in the Pacific (COSPPac) of the Australian government Bureau of Meteorology, US IOOS, and an anonymous private donor. Data streaming for the PacIOOS wave buoys is made possible through long-term partnerships with the US Army Corps of Engineers and Coastal Data Information Program.

Majuro wave buoy data can be accessed at: http://pacioos.org/wavebuoy/kalobuoy.php

Read more about this in the May 13, 2016 edition of the Marshall Islands Journal.

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