News from the DNR Office of Communications

"Smart Buoy" Deployed in Chesapeake Bay near Artificial Reef

Buoy to Track Water Quality at Surface and at Bay Bottom

Chesapeake Bay (July 27, 2010) — The NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office and its partners at the Maryland Department of Natural Resources today deployed a “smart buoy” in the Chesapeake Bay just west of the Little Choptank River. The new buoy is located near the Dominion Reef at the Gooses, an 80-acre artificial reef constructed with materials from the old Woodrow Wilson Bridge.

This buoy is the newest in NOAA's Chesapeake Bay Interpretive Buoy System (CBIBS), a network that provides scientists, boaters, and educators with real-time data about the Bay. In addition to monitoring water quality at the surface, as do all CBIBS buoys, the newest buoy also tracks water quality at the bottom.

“The Dominion Gooses Reef CBIBS buoy gives us the opportunity to do some really innovative monitoring,” said Peyton Robertson, Director of NOAA’s Chesapeake Bay Office, which manages CBIBS. “Data from this buoy’s water-quality sensor on the Bay bottom will give us an unprecedented look at the health of the Bay in this location.”

CBIBS buoys collect weather, oceanographic and water-quality observations, and transmit this data wirelessly in near-real time. These measurements, as well as historical and cultural information, can be accessed at ( for mobile devices) and by phone at 877-BUOY-BAY (877-286-9229). CBIBS buoys monitor the broad range of measurements necessary to track Bay restoration progress. Online educational resources are also available. Data from this buoy will also be available at the Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ website.

"This is a tremendous effort by everyone involved and the information it is going to provide is critical to understanding the artificial reef and the health of the Bay," said Bruce Michael, Director of DNR’s Resource Assessment Service.

Captain Jeff Lill and the crew of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ buoy tender M/V J.C. Widener worked with NOAA to transport and place the buoy in its final location. Maryland Department of Natural Resources has also committed to maintain the water quality instruments on the buoy for the next five years.

This buoy was made possible by a $200,000 grant from the Dominion Foundation to Coastal Conservation Association Maryland via Maryland Artificial Reef Initiative. The U.S. Department of Commerce—home to NOAA—accepted the buoy as a gift.

Buoys in the system also mark points along the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail, which highlights the natural history of the Bay and provides new opportunities for recreation, education, and tourism in the Chesapeake Bay region, and encourages stewardship of this national treasure.

This is the ninth buoy in the CBIBS system. Buoys deployed earlier are located at the mouths of the Patapsco, Potomac, Rappahannock, Severn, and Susquehanna Rivers, in the James River near Jamestown, in the Elizabeth River off Norfolk, and in the Potomac River just south of Washington, D.C.

The NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office focuses NOAA’s capabilities in science, service, and stewardship to protect and restore the Chesapeake Bay.

NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and conserves and manages our coastal and marine resources. Visit

   July 27, 2010

Contact: Josh Davidsburg
410-260-8002 office I 410-507-7526 cell

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages nearly one-half million acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic and cultural resources attract 11 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at