New CREWS Buoy Deployed
CCMI has installed a new, modern, state-of-the-art oceanographic buoy on the north side of Little Cayman, thanks to funding provided by the Dart Foundation and the Edmund F. and Virginia B. Ball Foundation. Near real-time weather and ocean state information will be easily accessible from a mobile phone or computer. Data from Little Cayman will feed into a project led by Dr. Jim Hendee and the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), forming an Integrated Coral Observing Network (ICON) that collects data from reefs on a global scale. This kind of oceanographic monitoring technology is extremely sophisticated, enabling researchers from around the world to tap into, track and further our understanding of Ocean Acidification, sea level rises, and coral bleaching events, which are becoming more frequent globally. Instruments on the buoy will measure weather including barometric pressure, rain, and wind speed and direction. All of this data is essential to understanding global and local trends which can help guide research and conservation action. The buoy provides fundamental information that will help CCMI achieve their goal of finding innovating ways to restore coral reefs.
The data made available by the CREWS buoy provides an exceptional opportunity to measure the time-specific changes in the ocean that leads to stress or that could be linked to continued resilience on the coral reefs in the Cayman Islands. This information, in conjunction with the 20-year retrospective three-island survey which CCMI researchers will conduct this summer, will provide a detailed picture of what is going on at present in Cayman waters and allow longer-term trends to be observed.