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Work to replace aging CBIBS buoys with new, smaller buoys is progressing—and evolving. As Chesapeake Bay boaters and anglers head into the busy season, the CBIBS team provides this update on the status and plans for buoys:

Ah, spring. Temperatures are rising, and winter’s grey skies and precipitation yield to generally more sunshine. That also means that water temperatures in the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries are on the rise as well, indicating to many living resources that it’s time to be on the move, and in some cases, to reproduce.
Each spring, the CBIBS team looks forward to redeploying buoys that were pulled late the previous year to avoid potential damage to them by ice over the winter. In 2019, the redeployments are a bit more complex as CBIBS is transitioning to using a new kind of buoy.
 

In order to keep hulls and sensors safe from potential ice damage, several CBIBS buoys have been removed from the water for the winter months; it is anticipated that these buoys will be redeployed in early spring 2019. During the week of December 10, the Gooses Reef and Annapolis buoys were pulled.

Here in much of the Chesapeake Bay watershed, 2018 has been a bit on the damp side—to put it lightly. The area has experienced higher-than-average rainfall, leading to record amounts of water flowing off the land into the Bay.

Currently, there are six CBIBS buoys deployed in the Chesapeake Bay, reporting real-time weather, wave, current, and water-quality data via www.buoybay.noaa.gov, mobile apps, and the toll-free 877-BUOY-BAY phone number. 

NOAA and partners have launched a new buoy close to the NOAA CBIBS First Landing buoy to monitor carbon dioxide levels in the air and water as well as track pH levels in the water.

Coming this spring: New-style CBIBS buoys in several current CBIBS locations!

While the original yellow buoys have served CBIBS well, several of them have been in use since 2007 and are getting a bit tired. Replacement buoys were recently delivered to the CBIBS warehouse so that the CBIBS technical team can begin assembling and testing them.

With an impressive winter storm forecast to move up the East Coast--including blizzard and winter storm warnings for the southern part of the Chesapeake Bay--over the next 36 hours or so, the CBIBS team is working to make sure delicate parts of the buoys stay safe.

Much of the Chesapeake region is facing close to a week of air temperatures below 32 degrees. Those sustained cold air temperatures are causing water temperatures to tumble, too. While the freezing point of fresh water is 32 degrees, the point at which water in the Chesapeake Bay will freeze can vary due to salinity levels.

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