The first SmartATLANTIC Inshore Weather Buoy was successfully deployed in Herring Cove, just east of Halifax, by Canadian Coast Guard vessel CCGS Sir William Alexander. This technologically savvy “smart” buoy is bright yellow, three metres in diameter and weighs in excess of 1.5 tonnes.

The SmartATLANTIC Herring Cove Buoy is a scientific ODAS buoy (Ocean Data Acquisition System). It is an important new weather forecasting tool and platform for scientific research/education. Data transmitted from the SmartATLANTIC Herring Cove Buoy will be used to generate – for the first time in Halifax – real-time high resolution weather and wave forecasting.

The SmartATLANTIC Herring Cove Buoy project will provide accurate and timely information for marine users of the port of Halifax, will significantly improve safety and efficiency of port operations, will be a working example of the Canadian Coast Guard’s e-Navigation initiative, will aid Search and Rescue operations in the harbour approaches, and will benefit fishers, recreational boaters and the public.

The SmartATLANTIC Herring Cove Buoy is a joint initiative of Canadian Marine Pilots’ Association, Halifax Marine Research Institute, Atlantic Pilotage Authority, Halifax Port Authority, MEOPAR ((Marine Environmental Observation Prediction and Response Network), and Canadian Coast Guard. Operation of the buoy, data analysis, and forecasting will also involve the Marine Institute (St. John’s, NL), and AMEC Environment & Infrastructure (Dartmouth, NS).

Start-up funding is being provided by Transport Canada, the Nova Scotia Department of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism, and MEOPAR, in addition to in-kind contributions from AMEC Environment & Infrastructure, the Canadian Coast Guard and Canadian Marine Pilots’ Association. The Atlantic Pilotage Authority and the Halifax Port Authority have committed to fund the annual operating and maintenance costs (estimated at a total of $120,000 per year) for a period of 10 years.