The Old Tampa Bay buoy in the water
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has deployed a new monitoring buoy in Old Tampa Bay, TBN Weekly reported.
Researchers will use the buoy to study the conditions that trigger algal blooms. Every five minutes, the buoy transmits data on water parameters such as temperature, salinity, clarity and dissolved oxygen, as well as chlorophyll fluorescence. A top-mounted weather station monitors rainfall, wind speed and other meteorological conditions.
Old Tampa Bay has seen annual occurrences of Pyrodinium bahamense for the past several years, though scientists remain unsure of what triggers the harmful algae blooms.
Data from the buoy is available online in real time.
Image: The Old Tampa Bay buoy in the water (Credit: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, via Flickr)