The Pacific Islands Ocean Observing System (PacIOOS) deployed a new water quality buoy in Pelekane Bay, on the west side of Hawaiʻi Island. The new buoy collects salinity, temperature, turbidity, dissolved oxygen, and chlorophyll in 15-min intervals. Pelekane Bay, home to Puʻukoholā Heiau National Historic Site, experiences high turbidity levels due to overgrazing within the watershed and reduced wave activity after the construction of Kawaihae Harbor. Automated, real-time water quality measurements will enhance monitoring efforts and provide baseline data. The water quality buoy will support efforts from the South Kohala Coastal Partnership and other initiatives that are aiming to reduce sediment runoff in the South Kohala watersheds to protect nearby coral reef ecosystems. Pelekane Bay lies within NOAA's West Hawaiʻi Habitat Blueprint Focus Area.
Pictured: PacIOOS wave buoy in Pelekane Bay. Image credit: James Terhune
Several buoys in the Southeast Coastal Ocean Observing Regional Association (SECOORA) network were damaged during the active 2017 hurricane season. Buoys operated by the University of North Carolina Wilmington’s Coastal Ocean Research and Monitoring Program (CORMP) support severe weather predictions in North and South Carolina and were among those damaged. In February, CORMP redeployed the SUN2 wave buoy off the coast of Sunset Beach, NC. Technicians will repair the CAP2 and FRP2 buoys, located northwest of the Charleston Harbor, in April. Read more >