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UVI's CMES to Host Launch of Data Buoy Connected to Internet

The University of the Virgin Islands Center for Marine and Environmental Studies (CMES) will host the launch of a data buoy that will transmit information over the Internet in real time. To better serve stakeholder needs in coastal waters around the U.S. Virgin Islands, scientists from UVI and the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez, are deploying new technology around the territory's coastlines. The Caribbean Regional Association for Coastal Ocean Observing (CaRA) intends to launch a state-of-the-art ocean data buoy off St. Thomas on or around April 14 at a site on the insular shelf edge approximately seven nautical miles south of St. John.

The buoy platform carries a package of meteorological and oceanographic instrumentation that is of vital environmental and economic interest to the USVI community. These sensing devices will facilitate detailed, real-time characterization of ocean conditions in territorial waters. The information is expected to provide a more complete picture of wind speeds and air temperature, wave heights, ocean current patterns, seawater temperature and salinity.

The Caribbean Coastal Ocean Observing System (CariCOOS) is part of the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS®), a partnership of federal, regional and private sector groups working to enhance the collection, delivery and use of ocean-related data and products. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)-led U.S. IOOS effort funds regional partners to improve safety, protect the environment and promote economic opportunity in the U.S. Caribbean.

The deployment of the St. Thomas data buoy is a first for the territory. Two other sensing devices have been placed off the coast of Puerto Rico. Other CariCOOS assets include a network of 12 meteorological stations throughout Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and a dedicated wave buoy to be deployed off the west coast of Puerto Rico in the month of April. Once the VI-Puerto Rico buoy placements are complete, the next step will be to integrate them with the U.S. ocean data collecting system.

Government and university officials, along with U.S. military and federal administrators and local business groups, will join Governor John P. de Jongh, Jr. and UVI President David Hall at a formal commissioning ceremony for the data buoy on April 14. The ceremony will be held at the Havensight Shopping Center, Lot D, adjacent to the West Indian Company Dock.

For further information please contact: Dr. Nasseer Idrisi, (340) 693-1385, nidrisi@uvi.edu.