CBIBS buoys are built to withstand high winds and big waves—but some forces of nature are too much for the sensors attached to the buoys. Ice can damage these sensors, and large ice floes can even "relocate" buoys.
With that in mind, and with water temperatures in the northern part of the Bay plunging into the mid-30s, the NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office is working with the U.S. Coast Guard to pull the three northernmost buoys.
The Susquehanna buoy and the Patapsco buoy have already been pulled, and the Upper Potomac buoy will be pulled early in January.
Once water temperatures start to rise again in early spring, the buoys will be redeployed in their original locations to once again report data. To mark these spots, "ice buoys" will be deployed. These smaller ice buoys are hardy enough to winter over in the ice.