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On July 17, 2015, the Pacific Islands Ocean Observing System (PacIOOS) redeployed its wave buoy outside of Ritidian Point with the support of the U.S. Coast Guard. The yellow buoy is located about 4 miles offshore and will now continue to send information on wave height, direction, period, and sea surface temperature. The reinstalled buoy off Ritidian Point joins the existing PacIOOS network of 13 real-time wave buoys across the Pacific—3 of which are located in the Mariana Islands (Ipan, Ritidian Point and Tanapag).

Wave buoy data benefit the entire community and are important to make well-informed and safe decisions. Ocean users, including fishermen, commercial operators, boaters and swimmers, can access all ocean data online, free of any charge. Real-time wave data are also vital to alert the community, emergency responders, and agency officials to big wave events that could potentially impact Guam’s shorelines.

“We are extremely excited that the Ritidian Point wave buoy is back in the water to provide real-time wave data. The buoy is a tremendous asset and a critical resource for us,” says Chip Guard from NOAA’s National Weather Service, Forecast Office in Guam. “We check the readings constantly to prepare our wave forecasts and evaluate the need for surf advisories and warnings and for small craft advisories.” Roger Edson, also of the Forecast Office, adds “It can really be helpful for flagging the largest waves during tropical storms and typhoons.”

In order to keep the buoy operational, ocean users are kindly asked to carefully navigate around the wave buoy, refrain from tying to the equipment, and avoid fishing within 100 yards to minimize entanglement in the mooring line.

Kimball Millikan, PacIOOS marine research engineer, states, “The wave buoys, and the sensors that lie within, are very sensitive. Any sort of collision or other abrupt impact can damage the instruments.” He adds, “the location of the buoy is included in all nautical charts, but keep in mind, these buoys are constantly in motion so the exact location varies.”

PacIOOS extends a special thanks to the U.S. Coast Guard team in Guam for the continuous support. Data streaming for the PacIOOS wave buoys is made possible through long-term partnerships between PacIOOS, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and Coastal Data Information Program.

To view Ritidian Point wave buoy data, visit the PacIOOS website.

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