2014 Drifter Tracks
resolving transport pathways through New England's continental shelf waters and beyond
updated every two hours
See a GoogleMap of just this month's tracks.
Download drifter construction manuals
Learn how to get involved with the project
See this week's tracks overlaid on other fields (sst, models, etc) on the MARACOOS site (click on "Drifter" layer).
See drifters and unmanned sailboats documented on the click NERACOOS website
See drifters and unmanned sailboats off the Southeast US on the SECOORA website (select the "drifter" layer)
See a description of the drifters themselves and how to use them. Access the historical drifter data.
Blog about students deploying drifters with our MATE colleagues
Document a drifter finding
Drifters in the news
See raw statistics.
Check on your satellite fix use.
To get PYTHON and/or MATLAB processing routines, email James Manning for the latest versions.
To see information on individual clusters, click the links in the following chronological table
Institution (data) Deployer (report/blog) Date Deployed (animation) Dropsite (forecast) #units Science Status (customized googlemap) Type of Unit (photo) Fate (photo) Educational Passages Baldwin 12 May 2012 Gulf Stream 5 educational done boats under sail boats under sail; blown ashore by two tropical storms Alberto and Beryll landing 25 May through 29 May, and relaunched a few weeks later. Two washed ashore in Newfoundland on 20 August, recovered with help from Clarence Careen and Alphonsus Murphy, refurbished by Dwight Howse, and redeployed on Oct 11th just west of the Grand Banks. One apparently went down in Hurrican Raphael mid-ocean. One landed in South Wales, was redeployed SW of the Azores at end of March 2013, landed on a sand beach in Portugal on Jan 28, 2014, brought to Lisbon's Portuguese National Agency for Scientific and Technological Culture for repair. Educational Passages Baldwin 02 Dec 2012 Gulf Stream 3 educational underway boats under sail deployed Dec 1st, 2012 off N. Carolina by Joe Robillard; one found by a small boat fishermen near Guernsey Island (off the NW corner of France) on Feb 16th, 2014 and was redeployed in the Bay of Biscay in Jan 2015 but came ashore in France 10 days later, one got stuck in what is apparently a "garbage patch" SW of the Azores for nearly a year, one did a gyre loop back to SC after a few months. Educational Passages Baldwin 08 Nov 2013 North Atlantic 9 educational underway boats under sail two deployed off N. Carolina by Joe Robillard, two deployed from the Canaries by PLOCAN, and five deployed by New England offshore Lobstermen Todd Ellis, Bob Colbert, and Bro Cote. One landed in Portugal and one in Spain in mid-November 2014. One of the Canaries-launched units, "Glenna", crossed to Brazil in two months! Scotish Gov't Hughes 11 Dec 2013 Scotland 8 HF Radar done 4x4 mast headed NNE, eastern-most 3 apparently ashore on Shetland Islands late December, and the others and ... UCONN Dierssen 6 Jan 2014 Florida Keys 3 seaweed drift done buckets All three escaped to the ocean side in the first day or two and then recovered off shore of Sugarloaf Key on 10 January. UCONN Dierssen 11 Jan 2014 Florida Keys 3 seaweed drift done buckets All three came ashore on the west coast of Long Key late in the day Jan 15th. UCONN Dierssen 17 Jan 2014 Florida Keys 2 seaweed drift done buckets All two escaped to the ocean side in the first day or two and then recovered off shore of Long Key on 19 January. Scotish Gov't Hughes/Berx 04 May 2014 Scotland 9 HF Radar done 4x4 mast and chain ballast Fitted with plastic boxes and deployed alongside standard drogued drifters; some lasted weeks and some lasted months; one landed on SE coast of Shetland Island Swampscot High Wilbur/Ratley 10 May 2014 Mass Bay 2 instrument test done Eddie modification floats and PVC spars; blown into harbor given a few days of easterlies so one landed in the Saugus mud flats and one landed on Georges Island but later recovered by Donald from Boston Harbor Auth Grays Reef Marine Sanctuary Peterson 12 May 2014 Georgia 2 river outflow/dye study done bamboo cassie surface drifters set with dye in big runoff event; oscillated with tide; caught in Gulf Stream and apparetnly went down with Hurrican Arthur on July 3rd. WHOI Geyer/McDonald 16 May 2014 Connecticut River 9 tidal river done bucket drifters short tracks, unprocessed Univ. of Central Florida Mansfield 19 May 2014 Gulf of Mexico 6 turtles done buckets and surface drifters deployed alongside turtles; 3 washed ashore weeks later in the shallowsof Terrebonne Bay; two went west and both ashore by the end of June; and one died on 27 June Educational Passages Baldwin 20 May 2014 Near the Azores 2 educational done boat under sail boats under sail sponsored by a retirement home in Maine, recovered by a fisherman off Georgetown, Guyana in Dec 2014, and ... Nock Middle School/Wells High/GOMI/WHOI Backus/Beriau/Terry/Keafer/Steingart 22 May and 06 Jun 2014 off Southern Maine 2 HABs done Irina and Brad surface drifters deployed off R/V Tioga in patches of toxic Alexandria; one landed on Cape Cod outer beach on Jun 23rd and recovered by Conner & Ed (with help from NPS Karl and Dan) South Shore Natural Science Center/Hull High Galluzzo/Jacoby/Frazier 26 May 2014 Mass Bay 1 education done Irina surface drifter deployed off Captain Mike Pierdinock's boat, caught in a few days of easterlies, landed on the beach on the Truro/Wellfleet line, recovered by Dan Klusek while patroling for birds for the National Park Service, and ... Educational Passages Baldwin 30 May 2014 off Lisbon Portugal 1 educational done boat under sail boats under sail refurbished by Luis Sebastiao at the Institute for Systems and Robotics after it landed in Portugal, and redeployed NOAA/NEFSC Warren/Crosier 03 Jun 2014 Nantucket Sound 1 instrument test done experimental drogue deployed by Hollings students, Conner and Ed; apparently lost drogue 3 weeks later, came ashore on Craigville Beach, possibly taken home by someone to Yarmouth Univ. of Central Florida Mansfield 03 Jun 2014 Gulf of Mexico 4 turtles done buckets and surface drifters deployed alongside turtles; 3 only lasted a few weeks and one went west and landed on the beach on 1 July 2014 Great Lake Environmental Research Lab Ruberg/McCormick 05 Jun 2014 Lakes Huron 2 exchange done Eddie 2x4 drifters? hugged the coast and apparently came ashore just east of Hammond Bay on 9 June UNHBS/NERACOOS Sobel/Stymiest 06 Jun 2014 off S. Maine 1 education done Irina surface drifter apparently went down mid-gulf with Hurricane Arthur Concord MA Public Schools/Boat Camp/WHOI Kablik/Hoyt/Yeoman/Kirincich 06 Jun 2014 off Newburyport 1 education done Irina surface drifter apparently low in the water column and missing GPS in rough seas Swampscot High Wilbur/Ratley 07 Jun 2014 Mass Bay 1 instrument test done Eddie modification floats and PVC spars; one recovered by Jeff Herndon, fisherman out of Sandwich who mailed in the transmitter in September, while the other landed on Georges Island in Boston Harbor the day after it let go from a marsh north of Boston Great Lake Environmental Research Lab Ruberg/McCormick 11 Jun 2014 Lakes Huron/Michigan 3 exchange done Eddie 2x4 drifters? quickly moved into Huron; reversed direction; one landed on Bois Blanc Island on 26 June; one at St Ignace; one went back into Lake Michigan and landed quite away up along the northern shore on a Brevoort beach on 2 July Woods Hole Oceanographic/I2 Camp Thieler/Rypina 12 Jun, 14 Jul, and 5 Aug 2014 SNE Shelf 3 education done Irina surface drifters June unit made close approach to Squibnocket next morning, the Hamptons weeks later, and offshore while July's unit was deployed on a glider-rescue-mission, landed on the Pt Judith breakwater a few weeks later, recovered by NOAA folks Dan Vendettuoli and Chris Melrose, redeployed 5 Augustand died off Delaware's mid-shelf in October. South Shore Natural Science Center/Hull High Galluzzo/Jacoby/Frazier 17 June 2014 Mass Bay 1 education done Irina surface drifter deployed originally off Captain Mike Pierdinock's boat, caught in a few days of easterlies, landed on the beach on the Truro/Wellfleet line, recovered by Dan Klusek while patroling for birds for the National Park Service, and redeployed by Hingham lobsterman, Bill Doherty on June 17th, went dead a few days later off Scituate, recovered by Todd Estendola, a tuna fishermen, returned to the high school on the last day of classes, and ... UNH Center for Marine Biology Goldstein/Watson 24 June 2014 Great Bay 1 lobster done buckets grounded near Fox Point after a few hours Cohasset Center for Student Coastal Research Buckley/Doherty/Adams 26 June, 01, 15, 22, 26 Aug 2014 Mass Bay 7 education done Irina surface drifter June deployment by Hingham lobsterman, Bill Doherty, low in the water column w/infrequent fixes and August deployments on three different occassions by Paul Adams, "one of the parents", in his 30 ft boat and sponsored by Hingham Lumber. One landed in Magnolia and recovered by Deirdre. One landed in Scituate and recoverd by Fran Smith. One landed on Head-of-the-Meadow Beach in North Truro and recovered by Joe on 28 Aug. One landed in the Barnstable Harbor marsh and recovered by Greg Hamm clamming with his kayak, and one died on its way to Grand Banks. New Hampshire Science Teachers/WHOI Hartwell/Kirincich 08 July 2014 off Boothbay ME 1 education done Irina surface drifter summer science camp deployment off North Shore, headed mid-gulf, landed a few times on Digby Neck in September, and ... Univ of Maryland Xia 08 Jul 2014 Lake Michigan 5 ? done Irina surface drifters one ashore a week later while the others went as far as the northern shore and islands of the lake in late September UCONN/Whaleboat Morgan Whitney/Jia 11-12 July 2014 Stellwagen Bank 8 education done 4x4 w/platform a few went into the deep gulf, a few went south to Great South Channel and on to Georges Bank. All survived at least a week and as long as 3+ months. StellwagenBank NMS/Whaleboat Morgan Haskell/Manning 13 July 2014 Cape Cod Bay 4 education done Irina surface drifters and Colin Drogued drifters three came ashore and recovered in a few days (a couple on Long Point and one with parted drogue on Beach Point) while the 10m drogued unit escaped to Cape Cod Bay and stayed for over a month before coming around and landing on Ballston Beach in Hurricane Critobal waves where it was photographed by Abby and Joe and recovered by Brian Seacoast Science Center/WHOI Leavitt/Kirincich 29 July 2014 off NH 1 education done Irina surface drifter middle school student participation; headed northeast and ... Univ. of Central Florida Mansfield 30 July 2014 off North Carolina 1 turtles done buckets drifter deployed alongside turtles, headed towards shore, and only survived a few days UCONN Whitney/Jia 7-8 Aug 2014 Long Island Sound 11 river output done some 4x4 w/platformand some bamboo the first few were short tracks inside a small bay, a few landed on Fishers Island, a few recovered by fishermen, and a few went on to the shelf Ocean Exploration Trust Garson/Coleman/Brennan 11 August 2014 off Belize 2 Education done surface and drogued drifters drogued recovered by Belize fishermen and expect to be redeployed; while the other surface drifter went on to a reef, was apparently recovered on 24 Aug and brought into the port of Corozal Ocean Exploration Trust Garson/Coleman/Brennan 18 August 2014 off Cuba 1 Education done drogued drifter headed west, apparently dragged off the south coast of Cuba, ... Ocean Exploration Trust Garson/Coleman/Brennan 24 August 2014 off Jamaica 1 Education done surface drifter headed gradually west and then north until it went silent on 18 October off the south coast of Jamica near some reefs .... Riverhead DiGiovanni/Crosier 18 Aug 2014 off NY 2 turtle & seal done animal tracking no word yet from turtle, seal planned Great Lake Environmental Research Lab Ruberg/Schwab/Anderson 21 Aug 2014 Lakes Huron/Michigan 3 exchange done Eddie 2x4 drifters? two came ashore in early September (one on north shore of Lake Michigan and one on Bois Blanc Island) and the other quit 26 Sept in mid-Lake Huron Great Lake Environmental Research Lab Ruberg/Schwab/Anderson 28 Aug 2014 Lakes Erie 1 lake flow done Eddie 2x4 drifters? came ashore on 8th of September on north shore of Lake Erie Sea Keepers McFadden 25 Aug 2014 Long Island Sound 1 education done Irina surface drifter suddenly went silent in the channel between Montauk and Block Island three days after deployment Grays Reef Marine Sanctuary Patterson 09 Sep 2014 Georgia 2 river outflow done Cassie bamboo surface drifters student built at workshop; swashed with the river-mouth tide the first few days and came ashore a few miles up river. Pacific Marine Mammal Center Matassa/Hunter/Crosier 14 Sep 2014 Laguna Beach, Calif 1 sea lions done sea lion "Ryby" hauled-out on Seal Rock, an offshore island, with the tag still attached weeks later, hauled up multple places including Channel Islands, Newport Beach Mooring field, and went silent near the end of Sept 2014. UCONN Chemistry Tobias/Raymond 23 Sep 2014 Niantic River Mouth 3 oxygen done mini-Davis style w/YSI O2 sensors 36 hour deployment Cape Fear Community College Degan 6 Oct 2014 Gulf Stream 2 education done green bamboo Cassie surface drifter both on their way with the Gulf Stream; 2nd one with less flotation, both apparently went down in a hurricane UNHBS Sobel 12 Oct 2014 off NH 2 education done Irina surface drifter evidently too low to get GPS Truro Central School OLeary 28 Oct 2014 Off Cape Cod 1 education underway Irina surface drifter retained in Great South Channel for weeks, eventually caught in the shelf-slope front jet to MAB, and then ... Educational Passages Baldwin Fall 2014 multiple places 14 educational underway boat under sail boats under sail school sponsored Falmouth Academy Flory/Macdonald 29 Nov 2014 off Plymouth 2 potential nuclear contamination done Irina and Megan surface drifter test of "Megan" drifter with floatie-buoyancy and driveway-marker-spars didn't report during heavy seas but the standard surface drifter performed well, made an excursion half way to P-town, turned around, landed on the rocks at the entrance to the Pilgrim Power Plant, recovered by Alison with help from Lauren Burm, Richard Daly, and Jim Feid at Pilgrim, refurbished, brought back to Plymouth by Megan, redeployed by Todd 12/16, landed on Provincetown's Herring Cove Beach, recovered by Brian Smith. South Shore Natural Science Center/Massasoit Community College Galluzzo/Simmons 29 Nov & 26 Dec 2014 Mass Bay 1 education done Irina surface drifter the ill-fated drifter, once again, starts to fail one day into its journey, recovered by the Ghidonis's on White Horse Beach on Dec 9th after a big Northeaster, refurbished unit was deployed by Todd Jesse on 26 Dec, washed ashore on the bayside of N Truro on 2 Jan, called in by Jack Adams, the realtor, recovered by Bob Prescott. Wellfleet Bay Audubon/New England Coastal Wildlife Alliance Prescott/Carson 14 Nov, 29 Nov 2014 Cape Cod Bay 6 turtles done Irina surface drifters and "Woody", the turtle drifter groundings 1-2 days later at Barnstable Harbor and Jeremy Point, 2 weeks later on the other side of Cape Cod Bay (north of Sagamore Beach), and 5 weeks later another on Jeremey Point and picked up by ... Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services Dusek/Standridge 03 Dec 2014 Chesapeake Bay 1 model validation underway Irina surface drifter oscillated off the eastern shore for a few days, headed out into the Gulf Stream and then a cold core ring, and ... Southern Maine Community College Long/Tarbox 04 Dec 2014 Casco Bay 1 education underway Eddie surface drifter quickly moved south into Mass Bay and ... PSU/Regional Science Consortium Boughton/Schnars 04 Dec 2014 Lake Eire 2 education done Eddie surface drifters deployed by border patrol, headed intially west, one reporting less than the other, and ... Falmouth Academy Flory/Macdonald 16 Dec 2014 off Plymouth 2 potential nuclear contamination done Irina surface drifters refurbished after Northeaster, both came ashore across the bay in less than a week. One recovered by Brian Smith and Julie Simpson at Herring Cove and another by Bob Prescott on Truro bayside after a report by realtor Jack Adams. Swampscot High Wilbur/Ratley Feb 2015 Mass Bay 3 education planned Irina surface drifters Suffolk Univ Stehlin 2015? off NH? 1 engineering experiment planned drogued drifter Jacksonville Univ Stalker 2015? off Florida 1 river plume planned ?? drifter Cantebury School/USF Cummings 2015? Florida Shelf 1 education planned Irina surface drifter
Note: Most units are prepared by marine science students. The majority are standard "surface drifters" marking only the top 1-meter of the water column, but some units, as in the case of EP boats, track the wind and wave at the surface and some have subsurface drogues typically centered at 10m-15m below the surface. For details, call 508-495-2211 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.