On June 6, the Pacific Islands Ocean Observing System (PacIOOS) deployed a new wave buoy near the entrance to Pearl Harbor, approximately 1.5 miles offshore. The wave buoy provides accurate information on wave height, direction and period, and also measures surface currents and sea surface temperature. Wave buoy data benefit the entire community and are important to make well-informed and safe decisions. Real-time wave information improves surf and ocean observations, and enhances wave modeling and surf forecasting. All wave buoy data are available online and free of charge.
“County, state and federal agencies, such as the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Navy and NOAA’s National Weather Service, incorporate wave buoy data into their daily operational decision-making processes. Many commercial and recreational ocean users, community members, and researchers, also rely on the data,” said Melissa Iwamoto, director of PacIOOS. “We are therefore extremely excited to offer a new observing asset to augment the existing network and better serve our community of users.”
The wave buoy off Pearl Harbor is the first PacIOOS wave buoy with the capability to measure surface currents at 10 minute intervals. Currents data, along with wave information, will help to enhance marine safety, navigation and harbor operations on Oʻahu’s south shore, in particular in the waters around Pearl Harbor. The Hawaiʻi Natural Energy Institute (HNEI) provided the initial support to purchase this buoy with funding from the Office of Naval Research.
The buoy’s location has been issued as a notice to mariners and will be included on nautical charts; however, the buoy is constantly in motion and can drift from its charted position. Vessel operators and other ocean users are asked to maintain a stand-off distance of at least 300 feet to avoid collisions and damage to the buoy. Boaters, kayakers and stand-up paddlers are asked to refrain from tying to the equipment and to avoid fishing near the buoy.