sodus bay buoy networkNine million people living around Lake Ontario depend on it for drinking water, according to the Lake Ontario Waterkeeper. And many of those live in Upstate New York in towns like Oswego, Rochester and Syracuse.

Far from going out into the middle of the lake, the people living in these towns mostly interact with its water through carrying out their lives nearshore. This is evident by the lines of roadways and lake houses that take up much of the space along Lake Ontario’s shores and bays.

One of these prominent areas, Sodus Bay, is located halfway between Rochester and Oswego. Scientists at the State University of New York’s College of Environmental Science and Forestry have a unique interest in tracking the water quality of Sodus Bay. They have launched multiple monitoring platforms in and around the bay to dissect environmental conditions there. Data they collect are useful both for advancing research interests, but also in providing residents around the bay with information on its water quality.

Sodus Bay buoy network

sodus bay buoy networkAt the center of the system are three NexSens Technology MB-300 Data Buoys (now CB-450 model) deployed to form a Sodus Bay buoy network. One sits near where it opens to Lake Ontario. A second is deployed in the middle of the bay. And the last one sits farther south, near the Lake Shore Marshes Wildlife Management Area.

All of these data buoys are fitted with solar marine lights on their topsides that alert boaters to their locations on the water. All except for the one nearest Lake Ontario also have topside weather sensors. These sit beside the marine lights on mounting plates and measure parameters like air temperature, relative humidity, barometric pressure, solar radiation and wind speed and direction.

On the bottom of each platform is a multi-parameter water quality sonde. These collect data on parameters like chlorophyll, colored dissolved organic matter, turbidity, temperature and conductivity. In addition, they all monitor for two types of blue-green algae: phycocyanin and phycoerythrin. The center and nearshore buoys both also support NexSens T-Node Temperature Strings that capture temperature changes of the bay in a profile.

Complementing the small Sodus Bay buoy network is a slew of weather sensing equipment including an RM Young Marine Wind Monitor, RM Young Humidity and Temperature Sensor and a LI-COR LI-200 Solar Radiation Sensor. These are connected to a solar-powered NexSens 3100-MAST Data Logger equipped with cellular telemetry. Deployed on LeRoy Island, this stable monitoring platform provides scientists at SUNY-ESF with weather data on a third point in the bay.

Similar to the 3100-iSIC, data from each buoy are transmitted to those overseeing the project via cellular telemetry. This is accomplished through solar-powered NexSens X2-SDL Submersible Data Loggers inside each buoy that gather and transmit data at pre-defined intervals.

All data collected from the monitoring stations around Sodus Bay are sent to a NexSens WQData LIVE Web Datacenter and published publicly so researchers and those living nearby have around-the-clock access to them.


Top image courtesy of MV Woosah


NexSens CB-450 Data Buoy

The NexSens CB-450 Data Buoy is designed for deployment in lakes, rivers, coastal waters, harbors, estuaries and other freshwater or marine environments.

X2 Environmental Data Logger

The NexSens X2 Environmental Data Logger offers the latest in real-time monitoring technology with wireless communication, large plug-and-play sensor library, and ultra-low power consumption.

NexSens T-Node FR Thermistor String

The NexSens T-Node FR thermistor string provides high precision temperature measurement in an addressable and connectorized assembly.

YOUNG Serial Output Wind Monitors

The YOUNG Serial Output Wind Monitor combines the performance and durability of the standard Wind Monitor with a unique optical encoder direction transducer and serial output.

YOUNG Humidity & Temperature Sensor

The YOUNG 41382 combines a high accuracy humidity sensor and a Platinum RTD temperature sensor.