2015 Drifter Tracks
resolving transport pathways through New England's continental shelf waters and beyond

updated every two hours

To see a GoogleMap of just this month's tracks, click here.
To see drifter construction manuals, click here.
To see the process of getting involved with the project, click here.
To see frequently asked questions, click here.
To predict where a drifter (deployed off New England) will go, click here.
To see this week's tracks overlaid on other fields (sst, models, etc), go to the MARACOOS site here and click on "Drifter" layer.
To see drifters and unmanned sailboats documented on the NERACOOS website, click here.
To see drifters and unmanned sailboats off the Southeast US, go to the SECOORA website, click here and select on the "drifter" layer.
To see a description of the drifters themselves and how to use them, click here.
To access the historical drifter data, click here.
To blog about students deploying drifters with our MATE colleagues,click here.
To document a drifter finding , click here.
To see drifter newsletters, click here.
To see drifters in the news, click here.
To see information on a related unmanned sailboat project, click here.
To see plots of this year's tracks, see links in table below.
To see raw statistics click here.
To check on your satellite fix use, click here.
To see us on Facebook,click here.
To see pages like this created in previous years click here for 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014.
To get PYTHON and/or MATLAB processing routines, email james.manning@noaa.gov for the latest versions.

To see information on individual clusters, click the links in the following chronological table

Date Deployed
#units Science
Type of Unit
Educational PassagesBaldwin02 Dec 2012 Gulf Stream 3educational underwayboats under saildeployed 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 PassagesBaldwin08 Nov 2013 North Atlantic9educational underwayboats under sailtwo 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!
Truro Central SchoolOLeary28 Oct 2014 Off Cape Cod1educationdoneIrina surface drifter retained in Great South Channel for weeks, eventually entrained in the shelf-slope front jet to MAB, then the Gulf Stream, until it started failing mid-February beyond the seamounts
Educational PassagesBaldwinlate 2014 multiple places 7educational underwayboat under sail one made a soft landing on a sandy beach in Ireland after four months at sea and brought into a classroom, another made a hard landing in the Orkney Islands of Northern Scotland and has not been heard from since, ...
Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and ServicesDusek/Standridge03 Dec 2014 Chesapeake Bay1model validationdone Irina surface drifter oscillated off the eastern shore for a few days, headed out into the Gulf Stream and then a cold core ring, until battery probably died in Feb 2015
Southern Maine Community CollegeLong/Tarbox 04 Dec 2014 Casco Bay1educationdoneEddie surface drifter quickly moved south into Mass Bay, Georges Bank, and eventually all the way past the Grand Banks before it died in early May 2015
Jacksonville UnivStalker06 Feb 2015 off Florida3river plumeunderwaysurface drifters "Crystal" sank, "BigBoy" went ashore after 1-2 days, while "Wilson" traveled thousands of kilometers out into the Atlantic
South Shore Natural Science CenterGaluzzo05 Mar, 21 May, 11 June, 28 July 2015 Mass Bay10educationunderwayall-wood surface drifter in March and two aluminum and 1 bamboo in May, more aluminum in June and July all wood exited the bay in less than a week and evidently went down in a storm on Nantucket Shoals (18 March), Plymouth ( alum & bamboo(ESN 996055) and Hull (alum) drifters deployed 21 May headed out to sea, Weymouth (alum) deployed off Bill D's boat went to Marblehead in 6 days and redeployed in Plymouth Harbor on 28 July when it ...
University of Central FloridaMansfield16 Mar 2015 off Brazil1turtlesdonebucket? Landed on a remote sandy beach hundreds of kilometers to the south a week later.
Cape Fear Community CollegeDegan30 Mar, 21 Apr, and 16 Jun 2015 Gulf Stream3Marine Techdoneunmanned sailboat one quit after a week, one landed on Hatteras after a month where the USCG responded to report of a "capsized boat on the beach" and laughed when they found, to their surprize, the miniboat which got redeployed on 16 June and ...
Florida State UniversityBalwada22 Mar 2015 Gulf of Mexico3Marine Scidonedrifters? short multi-hour deployments within Apalachicola Bay
Swampscot HighWilbur/Ratley17 Apr and 29 May 2015 Mass Bay4educationdoneIrina surface drifters first pair (April) came aground in a few days, the second pair (May) ended in several days with one being recovered from the water by a Hingham fisherman and one landing on a Nahant beach, and a third deployment (June) is planned...
Suffolk UnivStehlin17 Apr 2015Mass Bay1engineering experimentdonedrogued drifter slow start but made it around the Cape and on to Nantucket Shoals in mid-May, died late July off NJ
Scottish Gov'tHughes/Berx05 May 2015Northern Scotland8HF Radar validationdone4x4 mast surface drifters a couple failed after several hours in the water but other six headed east to come ashore on the Shetland Islands
Educational PassagesBaldwin2015 multiple places 7educational underwayboat under sail
Eastern Maine SkippersGuenther14 May, 2 July, 29 July, 3 Aug 2015Maine Coast5high school scienceunderwayIrina surface drifters workshop-built drifters to deployed by Narraguagus High(stuck in Jordan's Basin), Vinalhaven High, Deer Island High (Johnson Boyse's F/V JackieO)LAPCOD (off Winter Harbor Whale Watch Boat picked up days later and redeployed offshore) ; Jonesport unit never reported
Grays Reef Marine SanctuaryPeterson18 May 2015 Georgia2river outflow/dye studydonebamboo cassie surface drifters headed to the Gray Reef Sanctuary and then stopped reporting GPS
GOMILauber/Trimper/Balkus/Terry03 Jun 2015off Merrimack River6educationunderwayIrina surface drifters student deployed!
UNESchotte15 Jun 2015off Saco River1educationunderwaystudent designs best selected of many to be deployed after testing many with students on board.
Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and ServicesDusek/Standridge19 Jun 2014 Alaska3model validationdone Irina surface drifters two recovered while underway 1-2 days in and the 3rd came ashore on east side of Dundas Bay
Univ of MarylandXia30 Jun 2014 Lake Michigan6DispersiondoneIrina surface drifters a few failed, a few came ashore after a week, and a few skirted the coast for a month before also coming aground on the eastern shore
Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and ServicesDusek/Standridge5 Jul 2014 Alaska2model validationdone Irina surface drifters one ashore on a mid-sound island after a two days and one exited the sound and came ashore four days later south of the mouth where it was recovered by Steve's salmon-pen-tendering brother one
GOMITerry/Hollaron03 Jul 2015Bay of Fundy2educationunderwayIrina surface drifters student deployed! One ashore on North Head of Grand Manan 22 July and recovered by ... while the other ...
OceanExplorationTrustBeckendorf/Garson19 Jul 2015California1educationunderwayIrina surface drifters? student deployed!
Tabor Academy/NOAABill, Randall and Anderson20 Jul 2015Buzzards Bay3instrument testsdoneIrina surface drifters, Tabor surface, and Tim drogue incoming Freshmen deployed off the Academy's Tabor Boy vessel including new "Tim" play tunnel drogue but the two surface units came ashore on Nashawena the next day (both eventually recovered by the Tabor Boy) while the drogued drifter was recovered drogueless on the south side of Long Island, NY on 21 August by Peter Daniel, a biology professor at Hofstra University, who tracks trout
University of GeorgiaCasteleo22 Jul 2015Gulf of Mexico3w/glidersdoneexperimental floatie drifters two stopped reporting after a few days and the third a few weeks later
Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and ServicesDusek/Standridge20 Jul 2014 Alaska3model validationdone Irina surface drifters all recover a few days later
Center for Student Coastal ResearchBuckley5 and 25 Aug 2015Mass Bay4marine debrisunderwaysurface drifters Deployed by Paul Adams and students
OceanExplorationTrustGarson08 Aug 2015California4educationunderwayIrina surface & Colin Drogues drifters drogue#2 didn't survive a few hours but the other drogue and the two surface units did fine
VIMSSantos12 Aug 2015Chesapeake2turtlesdone buckets prep for wooden turtle study with pole ballast to be deployed eventually...headed out the river mouth in the 5 hour test deploymentYork River and ...
Hurricane IslandAnderson and Page23 Aug 2015 off Southern Maine1educationunderwaysurface drifter Deployed by Rozalia Project's R/V American Promise
Grays Reef Marine SanctuaryPeterson31 Aug 2015 Georgia2river outflow/dye studyplannedbamboo cassie surface drifters
UNH Center for Marine BiologyGoldsteinSummer 2015 Great Bay2lobstersplanned bucket drifters

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 james.manning@noaa.gov.