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Update on CBIBS Buoys Status

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. 

Four locations where CBIBS buoys have been stationed in the past do not currently have buoys (Susquehanna, Patapsco, Upper Potomac, Jamestown). This is due to two primary reasons:

  • Several buoys were damaged during the severe, sudden icing event that occurred during the first week of January.
  • CBIBS is transitioning away from the “original” large buoys to a smaller, easier-to-maintain buoy. The intention was to replace buoys that are traditionally pulled in December to keep them safe over the winter with the new, smaller buoys this spring. However, acquisition of all the parts needed to build those custom buoys has taken longer than was anticipated. 

Once the last few parts are received from the manufacturers, the CBIBS buoy team will build a first custom “small buoy.” That buoy will then need to be tested on shore to ensure it can deliver real-time data. Then it will be tested in the water before being deployed to a CBIBS location. 

Plans for subsequent small buoy deployment--regarding both timeline and location--will depend on the performance of the first small buoy. 

The NOAA CBIBS team intends to maintain the six buoys deployed in their current locations for the time being (Annapolis, Gooses Reef, Potomac, Stingray Point, York Spit, First Landing). 

In order to refine plans for beyond 2018, CBIBS welcomes input from constituents while we reevaluate the buoy system. 

We understand that many NOAA partners and other people use data from CBIBS buoys, and we regret the impact this lack of data may cause. With any questions, please contact cbibs@noaa.gov