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Four Buoys Pulled for Winter

As waters in the northern part of the Chesapeake Bay drop to near freezing temperatures, the CBIBS field team--working with their partners at the U.S. Coast Guard and University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science--makes sure buoys stay save over the winter. For the four northernost buoys, this means they are pulled from the water to protect their sensors and hulls. 

Generally pulled from the water in early to mid-December, the Susquehanna, Patapsco, Annapolis, and Upper Potomac buoys will be returned to their locations as waters warm in late winter (generally mid-March). 

Ice can be a dramatic force on the Bay, as witnessed in the winters of 2013-14 and 2014-15, when much of the Bay froze over for extended periods. 

The CBIBS team knows people get out on the water early each year, and they strive to get the buoys back out as soon as possible, when it can be accomplished without risk to the buoys or the team.

yellow buoy being pulled from the Potomac RIver onto a research vessel

Members of the CBIBS team work with the crew of the R/V Rachel Carson (University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science) lift and guide the Upper Potomac buoy onto the deck of the Rachel Carson in early December.