The University of the Virgin Islands Center for Marine and Environmental Studies EPSCoR grant funded the purchase of a meteorological and oceanographic data buoy. The buoy platform carries a package of meteorological and oceanographic instrumentation that is of vital environmental and economic interest. To better serve stakeholder needs in coastal waters around the U.S. Virgin Islands the data buoy measures real-time air temperature, wind speed, wind direction, wave height, wave direction, sea surface temperature and salinity, density, and ocean currents at 1-meter intervals from surface to sea floor.
The real-time ocean data buoy is located about 4 miles south of St. Thomas and is located in a region with high cruise ship traffic, commercial and recreational fishing boats, and many commercial vessels that frequent St. Thomas on a daily basis. The EPSCoR St. Thomas buoy is included in a data buoy array apart of the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico Caribbean Coastal Ocean Observing System (CariCOOS). The buoy recently (March 2014) underwent a successful annual maintenance and servicing of its instruments and is ready for another year of data collection. The real-time and historic data for the St. Thomas buoy and all other CariCOOS buoys can be found here:
For more information on the implementation of the data buoy, check out Vanessa Wright's poster, originally presented at the 2014 Ocean Sciences Meeting in Honolulu, Hawaii.