kids encyclopedia robot

Chesapeake Bay Interpretive Buoy System facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
The Patapsco River Chesapeake Bay Interpretive Buoy System smart buoy

Chesapeake Bay Interpretive Buoy System (CBIBS) is a network of observational buoys that are deployed throughout the Chesapeake Bay to observe the estuary's changing conditions and to serve as way points along the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail. They are maintained by the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). These "smart buoys" observe and record meteorological, oceanographic and water quality data which can be obtained in real-time by calling 1-877-BUOY-BAY or by logging on to CBIBS is an operational buoy system in the Chesapeake Bay dedicated to maintaining a broad range of measurements necessary to track Bay restoration progress.

Location of the buoys

There are ten operational buoys in the system located:

  • at the mouth of the Susquehanna River (near Havre de Grace, Maryland) 39°32.541′N 76°04.495′W / 39.542350°N 76.074917°W / 39.542350; -76.074917 (CBIBS Susquehanna River (S))
  • at the mouth of the Patapsco River (near Baltimore) 39°09′07″N 76°23′28″W / 39.15191°N 76.39115°W / 39.15191; -76.39115 (CBIBS Patapsco River (SN))
  • at the mouth of the Severn River (near Annapolis, Maryland) 38°57′47″N 76°26′51″W / 38.9631°N 76.4475°W / 38.9631; -76.4475 (CBIBS Annapolis (AN))
  • in the Upper Potomac River south of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge (near Alexandria, Virginia) 38°47′15.6″N 77°02′08.34″W / 38.787667°N 77.0356500°W / 38.787667; -77.0356500 (CBIBS Upper Potomac (UP))
  • off the mouth of the Little Choptank River 38°33.375′N 76°24.882′W / 38.556250°N 76.414700°W / 38.556250; -76.414700 (CBIBS Gooses Reef (GR))
  • at the mouth of the Potomac River (near Point Lookout, Maryland) 38°01′59″N 76°20′08″W / 38.033°N 76.3355°W / 38.033; -76.3355 (CBIBS Potomac (PL))
  • at the mouth of the Rappahannock River (near Stingray Point and Deltaville, Virginia) 37°33′06″N 76°15′05″W / 37.5517°N 76.2514°W / 37.5517; -76.2514 (CBIBS Stingray Point (SR))
  • in the James River (near Charles City, Virginia) 37°18′50″N 77°11′28″W / 37.3138°N 77.191°W / 37.3138; -77.191 (CBIBS VCU Rice Rivers Center (RC))
  • in the James River (near Jamestown, Virginia) 37°12′15″N 76°46′39″W / 37.20417°N 76.7775°W / 37.20417; -76.7775 (CBIBS Jamestown (J))
  • in the Elizabeth River (near Norfolk, Virginia) 36°50′44″N 76°17′53″W / 36.8455°N 76.298°W / 36.8455; -76.298 (CBIBS Norfolk (N))
  • at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay (near Cape Henry, Virginia) 36°58′45″N 76°02′37″W / 36.9793°N 76.0436°W / 36.9793; -76.0436 (CBIBS First Landing (FL))

Types of data observed

The buoys observe and record a wide variety of meteorological, oceanographic, and water quality real-time data including air temperature, relative humidity, barometric pressure, wind speed and direction, wave height and direction, currents, water temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, chlorophyll, and turbidity. Anyone can obtain the data by calling 1-877-BUOY-BAY or by going to

Some buoys in the network have experimental sensors that record changes in water level and nutrient (nitrogen and phosphorus) pollution levels. The James River buoy has an instrument that can track the passage of Atlantic sturgeon tagged by scientists.

Relationship to other ocean observing systems

CBIBS is a component of the Chesapeake Bay Observing System (CBOS) and the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS).


A variety of partners contribute to the Chesapeake Bay Interpretive Buoy System including the U.S. Coast Guard and Coast Guard Auxiliary, the National Park Service, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Chesapeake Conservancy, the Conservation Fund, the National Geographic Society, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, the Friends of the John Smith Chesapeake Trail, Dominion Power, Virginia Commonwealth University, and the Nauticus museum (located in Norfolk, Virginia).

Data users

CBIBS data is relied on by a variety of users including recreational boaters, fishermen, commercial mariners, scientists, educators, and natural resource decision makers.

Link to the National Historic Trail

In addition to providing real-time data about the Bay's changing conditions, CBIBS also marks and interprets the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail, the first water trail in the National Historic Trail System. This trail is administered by the National Park Service and commemorates Captain Smith's exploratory voyages in the Bay during the summer of 1607 and 1608.

kids search engine
Chesapeake Bay Interpretive Buoy System Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.