The International SeaKeepers Society returns from a three-day expedition with researchers from the Consortium for Advanced Research on the Transport of Hydrocarbon in the Environment (CARTHE) and Fleet Miami that included an outreach program with the local non-profit organization StreetWaves.
During the expedition researchers deployed a variety of GPS-equipped surface current drifters that can offer aid in response to ocean disasters like oil spills, search and rescue missions, and tracking ocean pollution. A number of the drifters are biodegradable which offer scientists the ability to conduct large-scale tests over large expanses of water without polluting the ocean.
The researchers also measured the speed of the water with an acoustic doppler current profile (ADCP) and measured wave height and frequency with wave buoys. An anemometer was used to determine wind speed and a conductivity temperature depth (CTD) sensor to characterize the ambient stratification in the water column. The combination of these measurements provided additional information to scientists on how accurately each drifter design is measuring the currents, which will be implemented to improve ocean current models.
The final day of the expedition included an outreach program with a group of teenagers from StreetWaves, a non-profit youth mentorship program located in Miami Beach that teaches children and teens from under-resourced communities how to surf, paddle and sail. The vessel departed Miami Beach Marina Wednesday afternoon.
Onboard, researchers from CARTHE demonstrated how ocean monitoring devices function and explained how the data from drifters is paramount to preserving the ocean. The group from StreetWaves assisted in the final deployment of the expedition.
Fleet Miami, a Florida based Yacht Membership Club that offers members a lifestyle experience once only available to the owners of a superyacht fleet, generously provided Shredder, a 54-foot East Bay, for the research expedition and outreach program. Shredder served as an excellent platform for deploying and retrieving CARTHE drifters.
CARTHE, based at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science, is a research team dedicated to predicting the fate of oil released into our environment to help inform and guide response teams, thereby protecting and minimizing damage to human health, the economy, and the environment.