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Pacific Islands Ocean Observing System deploys new wave buoy

  • COURTESY UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII AT MANOA

    PacIOOS Director Melissa Iwamoto helps deploy a new wave buoy off of Barbers Point today, just in time for summer.

The Pacific Islands Ocean Observing System deployed a new wave buoy off Kalaeloa Barbers Point today, just in time for summer.

The buoy, about 1.5 miles to the west of Kalaeloa Harbor on Oahu’s leeward side, will provide real-time information on wave heights, wave directions, wave periods and sea surface temperatures.

“The deployment of the Kalaeloa Barbers Point wave buoy was greatly anticipated by many of our users, stakeholders and partners, and we are thrilled that the buoy is now back on site,” PacIOOS Director Melissa Iwamoto said in a news release. “Our network of wave buoys collects important real-time wave observations in Hawaii and the Pacific Islands to inform and promote safe decision-making.”

PacIOOS acquired permits to relocate the new Barbers Point wave buoy slightly north of the previous one due to an increase in vessel traffic.

“We are excited that the Kalaeloa Barbers Point wave buoy is back in the water right in time for south summer swells,” said Pat Caldwell, NOAA data center liaison and Hawaii surf forecaster. “Reliable, real-time wave observations from the PacIOOS wave buoys are incredibly important to establish daily surf reports and to enhance our forecasting ability and accuracy. They serve as eyes on the ocean as they provide us with a constant flow of timely data, 24/7.”

PacIOOS, which is based at the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), owns and operates a network of 15 wave buoys in the U.S. Pacific Islands, 10 of which are located in Hawaii. Its wave buoy data, available online, is used by many commercial and recreational ocean users, as well as state and federal agencies to assess ocean conditions.

To allow the buoy to do its job, PacIOOS asks that boat operators and ocean users to stay clear of the buoy and refrain from tying to the equipment to avoid collisions and damage. The mooring location of the buoy is included on nautical charts, but its exact position can vary.

In upcoming months, another south-facing wave buoy will be redeployed off Lanai.

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