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October 23, 2015

SECOORA Responds to Cape Canaveral Buoy Removal

Update, January 21, 2016: National Weather Service (NWS) Office of Observations has directed National Buoy Data Center (NBDC) to maintain the Cape Canaveral Buoys 41009 and 41010 through the end of 2016.  Ship time permitting, NBDC is planning to service the buoys this spring. 
Watch for more updates. Below is the original story.
Due to funding constraints, a pair of buoys off Cape Canaveral are expected to be pulled from the water this spring.  The two NOAA NBDC buoys are primarily by funded NASA and U.S. Air Force (USAF). Station 41009 and 41010 are located 20 and 120 nautical miles east of Cape Canaveral, respectively.

These two buoys located in the SECOORA footprint have provided valuable data to the maritime community and private and government weather forecasters. Many users need the near-shore and offshore wind, wave and temperature conditions provided by the buoys. 

Examples of data 41009 and 41010 provide are: Air Temperature,  Significant Wave Height, Wind Direction, Water Temperature, Swell Wave Height, and more.

 "There's a lot of us that use that to check on local sea conditions and things of that nature. It's a good indicator to see what the offshore forecast is and the seas and so forth and to lose that, it would be the loss of another tool to keep tabs on the marine forecast here. People have relied on that for many, many years. We've all become accustomed to it here. It's a shame to lose it." – Mike Rigby, who fishes for red snapper and grouper and is also a boat driver with the Canaveral Pilots Association

Quoted in The Florida Today article.

In August, Conrad Lautenbacher, Jr., SECOORA Board Chairman, sent a formal letter to Kathy Sullivan, the NOAA Administrator, on behalf of the SECOORA Board regarding the removal of the two buoys. This is the first step in raising awareness of the degrading coastal ocean observing system. In September 2015, NOAA Administrator Kathy Sullivan sent a response back to Conrad Lautenbacher.  

More and more frequently we are seeing buoys being pulled from the water due to limited funds. In February, University of North Carolina Wilmington Coastal Ocean Research and Monitoring Program and SECOORA started the Buoy for a Cause campaign to raise the additional $16,000 needed to replace the decommissioned NDBC buoy, 41036 (Onslow Bay Outer, NC). In less than three months, Buoy for a Cause successfully crowdsourced the money.This campaign demonstrated crowdsourcing, combined with other resources, can be used to keep buoys that collect and deliver valuable data in the water.

SECOORA (and its predecessors) have been engaged in coastal ocean observing activities in the SE for over fifteen years in collaboration with U.S. IOOS, NOAA and others. SECOORA will continue to work with the maritime community, the private sector, the public and government interests to address coastal ocean observing gaps in the Southeast US.. If you are interested in working on a collaborative initiative, please contact Debra Hernandez, SECOORA Executive Director, at