Monday, April 29, 2013

Episode 159 (4-29-13): "Smart Buoys" in the Chesapeake Bay

Click to listen to episode (2:26).

Please see below (after the transcript and show notes) for links to news and upcoming events.


From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of April 29, 2013.

This week, we feature some of the Chesapeake Bay’s newest boating technology, teaching about one of Virginia’s oldest historic events—the April 1607 landing of English colonists at the point now called Cape Henry.  Have a listen for about 30 seconds.


You’ve been listening to an excerpt from the phone and online recording available for the First Landing buoy in the Chesapeake Bay Interpretive Buoy System.  Often called “smart buoys,” these buoys provide current weather and water conditions at ten Bay locations, from the Susquehanna River’s mouth near Havre de Grace, Maryland, to Cape Henry.  The system is operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA.  Along with wind speed and direction, wave height, water temperature, and other valuable boating information, the buoys provide geographic and historical information for the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Water Trail, which marks Smith’s explorations of the Bay and several area rivers in 1608.  You can get information from the smart buoy system by phoning (877) 286-9229—that’s 877 Buoy Bay—or online at

For other water sounds and music, and for more Virginia water information, visit our Web site at, or call us at (540) 231-5463.  From the Virginia Water Resources Research Center in Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening, and wishing you health, wisdom, and good water.


All Internet locations noted were functional as of 4-29-13.

Chesapeake Bay Interpretive Buoy System (CBIBS) First Landing buoy near Cape Henry, Virginia.  Photo the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, accessed at the CBIBS Web site,, 4/29/13.

Acknowledgments and Sources: Voice excerpts were taken from the online audio files for the 10 locations of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Chesapeake Bay Interpretive Buoy System (CBIBS), online at  Information on the CBIBS system was also taken from that Web site.  The phone number to access CBIBS buoys is (877) 286-9229 (877 BUOY BAY).

The CBIBS buoy locations, from north to south, are as follows: Susquehanna River near Havre de Grace, Md.; Patapsco River, near Baltimore, Md.; Annapolis, Md. (mouth of Severn River); upper Potomac River, near Washington, D.C.; Gooses Reef, in the Bay channel off the mouth of the Choptank River in Maryland; the Potomac River, near Point Lookout, Md.; Stingray Point, near Deltaville, Va. (Middlesex County); in the James River near Jamestown Island; Norfolk, Va.; and First Landing, near Cape Henry, Va. (City of Virginia Beach).

Information about the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Water Trail (along with CBIBS buoys are located) is available online at; or contact the National Park Service’s Chesapeake Bay Office at 410 Severn Ave., Suite 314, Annapolis, MD 21403; phone (410) 260-2470.

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