ST. PETERSBURG, FL – Jay Law, USF College of Marine Science PhD graduate student and Research Associate in Dr. Bob Weisberg’s lab, and Randy Russell from the College’s Center for Ocean Technology, recently serviced the C22 buoy north of the Dry Tortugas. C22 has been in operation since the beginning of 2019 to study the Loop Current, a strong ocean current in the Gulf of Mexico. Its job is to collect and transmit a spate of ocean and atmosphere data used to predict how this warm river of water in the Gulf affects things like red tide formation and hurricane intensification. The coronavirus pandemic has introduced hefty interruptions to the day to day operations but the team is working hard to ensure continuous function by the network of USF buoys deployed in the Gulf of Mexico. The ultimate goal: safeguarding lives and livelihoods, and monitoring the health of the waters in our backyard.
“The USF C22 ‘Pressure Point’ buoy is an important part of a larger National Academy of Science effort working to better understand and predict how the Loop Current impacts tropical weather, circulation and ecology in the eastern Gulf of Mexico,” said Law. “As we enter hurricane season and continue red tide monitoring efforts it’s critical that this buoy and our entire real-time observing system remains up and running. It’s a real credit to our CMS staff and engineers that during the present COVID crisis we’ve been able to keep this essential data flowing to researchers, agency management and the general public.”
Read more about the C22 buoy