Deployment of the buoy will increase access to a wealth of information about Lake Michigan to a variety of stakeholders.



Science and Technology

Deploying a Real-Time Environmental Buoy in Lake Michigan

In early June, LimnoTech deployed a scientific buoy in Lake Michigan to collect real-time data as part of a multi-year study of the lake. This technically advanced piece of equipment will gather a variety of environmental information including air temperature, wind speed and direction, water speed and direction, water temperatures at several depths, and wave height. LimnoTech is participating on the study as a subcontractor to The American Electric Power Company. The buoy was deployed in partnership with the University of Michigan’s Ocean Engineering Laboratory.

Data collected from the buoy will serve a scientific mission to understand the behavior of nearshore waters of Lake Michigan, and will be integrated into the Great Lakes Observing System (GLOS) (www.glos.us) and the National Data Buoy Center (NDBC) (www.ndbc.noaa.gov). GLOS and the NDBC act as data centers for a host of users. Some of the benefits of the data from the buoy will include helping the National Weather Service improve predictions of hazardous weather including high waves and rip currents, assisting the Coast Guard and local law enforcement agencies in responding to emergencies on the lake, and serving as a resource to boaters, swimmers and fishermen for recreational planning.

We are also proud to note that the buoy and a majority of its components are made in Michigan. The buoy itself was constructed by S2 Yachts in Holland, MI (www.s2yachts.com/), its meteorological sensors were made in Traverse City , MI, by the R.M. Young Company (www.youngusa.com/), and its thermistor chain was made by the University of Michigan. In addition, the mooring system for the buoy was deployed by Andrie, Inc. of Muskegon, MI (www.andrie.com). Instrument control and measurement data logging are performed with a Campbell Scientific CR1000.

Data from the buoy can be viewed in real-time at http://uglos.mtu.edu/ (Click on the yellow diamond offshore of the D.C. Cook Plant in southeast Lake Michigan).

St. Joseph Weather Buoy
Information Sheet
: A sheet with information LimnoTech's abilities to support this technology.

Webinar: LimnoTech recently presented a webinar to over 200 interested participants to distribute information about the buoy and answer questions about its capabilities.

2011 Press Release: More information about the buoy is contained in its orginal press release.

2012 Buoy Press Release


Holland Weather Buoy
Another new data buoy was deployed recently, two miles offshore from Holland, Michigan. The organizations involved in bringing the buoy to Holland include the Holland Board of Public Works (BPW), the Holland Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, Louis Padnos Iron and Metal, and LimnoTech. These data buoys have recently received increasing interest from the general public and a good deal of media attention. The links below include a press release, a newspaper article, and news videos recognizing the Holland buoy’s deployment and benefits.

2013 NWS Webinar
2013 Press Release
Press Release
Holland Sentinel Article-090513
Holland Sentinel Article-061113
Holland Sentinel Article-071212
WOODTV8 Coverage
WZZM Coverage
WHTC Coverage

For more information about the project, please contact Ed Verhamme of LimnoTech at everhamme@limno.com.