2016 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 and lesson plans, 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 at NERACOOS click here, SECOORA here, and GCOOS here.
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, 2015.
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

Deployers Date Deployed
#units Science
ID-Type of Unit
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!
Cape Fear Community CollegeDegan30 Mar 2015, 21 Apr 2015, 16 Jun 2015, and 21 Mar 2016 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. It got redeployed on June 2015, landed in Ireland in Jan 2016, and redeployed by R/V Celtic Voyager in March 2016 and landed near the Dingle Peninsula on 10 April and recovered banged-up a bit by BasketIsland EcoMarine Tour boat.
GOMILauber/Trimper/Balkus/Terry03 Jun 2015off Merrimack River6educationunderwayIrina surface drifters student deployed units with one making it past the Azores!
Center for Student Coastal ResearchBuckley5, 25 Aug and 31 Oct 2015Mass Bay6marine debrisdonesurface drifters Deployed by Paul Adams and students resulted in 3 short tracks and three long ones that all died south of the Grand banks
Long Beach Island SchoolMcBridePete Dolan07 Oct 2015 off New Jersey1educationdoneIrina surface drifter deployed by Pete Dolan, a Barnegat Light fisherman, took off in the Gulf Stream and died mid-atlantic on April fools day 2016...
GOMITerry et alOct 2015 - Jan 2016Gulf of Maine~13turtles,cod, & educationunderwayIrina surface drifters RVCS units deployed with students on-board circled around for a few weeks and landed on Isle of Shoals (recovered by Star Island Conf Center folks) and Hampton NH rocks (recovered by JiM's students). There was not much left to them when they were recovered. RVCS redeployed both in late Nov (one died in GSC on Dec 20 and one came ashore on New Years Eve busted at Race Point to be recovered by a beachwalker & Jesse from PCCS). Harborlights Montesorri (working with Salem Sound Coastwatch and MassDMF) deployed one (150420707) in Mass Bay cod spawning grounds on 18 December; Kennebunk High worked with GMRI to deploy another in early January in Ipswich Bay but that one died north of Georges Bank in late February
Southern Maine Community CollegeLong/Tarbox17 Nov, 2 Dec, 8 MarCasco Bay7educationunderwaysurface drifters:
All made it to the Gulf Stream except the one deployed in March
1346688- which washed up in P-Town at the end of March 2016 and was recovered by Steve Caliri of Eastham who works in PTown and walks the beach.
Educational PassagesBaldwin2016 multiple places 10?educational underwayboat under sail "Crimson Voyager" late 2015;
"West" 28 Jan 2016;
"Lightning Bolt" late Winter;
"SS DCA Eagle" late winter 2016 (twice);
"Red Storm" 14 April 2016 ashore a few days later;
"Atlantic Flame" 18 April 2016 ashore a few days later
"Atlantic Flame" again 4 May 2016
"Lancer" 4 May 2016 off R/V Neil Armstrong
"CanariesII" 12 May 2016 off Canaries
NOAA/NEFSCMandersonRoebuck27 Feb 2016 Shelf edge 1marine debrisunderwayIrina surface drifter First deployed off Cape May, NJ by F/V Karen Elizabeth on 27 Feb
Essex MA Tech HighWyda Ford17 Mar 2016 off Gloucester 1marine debrisunderwayIrina surface drifter Deployed by fishermen, Jim Ford
Jacksonville Univ/Bolles School/Foundation AcademyStalker/Murphy/ParisStalker16 Mar 2016 off Florida5river plumedonesurface drifters:
All oscillated off the coast for weeks;
163230811-JML unit died on deployment;
163230812-JML unit "crashed a wedding on the beach";
163230813-JML unit came aground 4/14/2016 in north of Palm Coast and found in a dumpster but with 3-d printer housing in tack;
163230814-Larger Bolles' unit tracked differently than standard size units came ashore at Cape Canaveral on 4/20 and reported by don@donfoley.com;
Kathleen High/USFBartuskaUSF08 April 2016Gulf of Mexico6CARTHE collaborationunderwayIrina surface drifters
University of GeorgiaCasteleo29 Mar 2016
18 Apr 2016
off Georgia13Altamaha river outfallunderwayrevised Irina drifters163280801-pilot unit came ashore on 4/18/16 in Palm Coast, stuck in the lawn, and used as a surfcast seat!
big batch deployed in mid-April headed into the Gulf Stream
Ipswich HighLaFranceMichelle_Seven_Sea_Whale_Watch24 Apr 2016 Mass Bay1marine debrisdone irina surface drifter deployed by students; circled around Stellwagen; and apparently washed ashore near Balston Beach on 2 May
Hingham MA HighGauthier/CampbellWhale Watch 27 Apr 2016 Mass Bay1marine debrisunderwayIrina surface drifter well documented in ppt; close call near P-Town;
CPA/IST/EMEPCCostaPedro Arrupe College Students/Sebastiao/Geraldes/Afonso/Costa03 May 2016 off Lisbon Portugal1education/marine techdoneKM_PT01 play tunnel surface drifter deployed 15 nm away from Portuguese shore by students; recovered by Rui, the fisherman, in good shape after it grounded on a sand bank near Lisbon on 11 May (38°40'28.00"N 9°14'31.00"W around 2016-05-11 T08:30:00Z) and may be redeployed in June 2016
St Marys High Lynn MASteadmanJustin_Mahoney07 May 2016 Mass Bay1educationunderwayIrina surface drifter
Swampscot High SchoolWilbur/RatleyJustin_Mahoney07 May 2016 Mass Bay1marine debrisdoneexperimental surface drifter w/floaties landed first day in Swallow Cove in Nahant and recovered by Val Perini (Northeastern marine educator) on 14 May
Governor Livingston NJ HighMcloughlinF/V Jersey Cape07 May 2016 Mid-Atl. Bight1educationunderwayIrina surface drifter Kelly's high school project deployed off Cape May boat with 4th grade art and floating well
Waterford CT HighO'ConnerR/V Neil Armstrong07 May 2016 Mid-Atl. Bight2educationunderwayunmanned sailboat and Irina surface drifter
Yarmouth ME SchoolsCuthbert/HarringtonMarshall Spear11 May 2016 off mid-coast Maine1marine debrisunderwayIrina surface drifter float in wrong position resulted in missed transmissions; sits on surface when first deployed but settles within minutes
PLOCAN CanariesBarreraPLOCAN12 May 2016 off Hierro Island1 educationunderwayunmanned sailboats
UCONNJia/WhitneyUCONN18 May 2016 Long Island Sound2river outfallunderwaysurface & drogued drifter with experimental transmitter mount
Falmouth MA HighMillikenF/V Kathy Ann from Barnegat Light19 May 2016 Mid-Atlantic Bight1marine debris/turtlesunderwayIrina surface drifter
Gloucester MA HighGoolsbyCaptain Bill Whale Watch19 May 2016 Mass Bay1marine debrisunderwayIrina surface drifter
St John Evangelist Beverly SchoolPomeroyCaptain Bill Whale Watch19 May 2016 Mass Bay1marine debrisunderwayIrina surface drifter
UNHSalisbury/Shellito19 May 2016 off Korea2acidificationunderwayexperimental drogues?
Pembroke MA High/URI/RWULorenz/KincaidR/V Endeavor21 May 2016 Gulf Stream Ring1marine debrisunderwayIrina surface drifter missing fixes in rough seas; deployed in ring with school teachers on board learning about GS ring science
Truro Central/Ipswich HighO'Leary/LaFranceLobsterman Billy Sousa25 May 2016 Off backside of Cape Cod1marine debrisplanned irina surface drifter washed ashore Ipswich High transmitter on Truro Central Drifter
Morse High Bath MEIlkovich/YoungF/V Illusion from Belfast MElate May 2016 Maine Coastal Current1marine debrisplannedIrina surface drifter with help from fishermen James Carroll and Nick Hawke
Brunswick ME Junior HighLamdinDan Libbylate May 2016 Maine Coastal Current1marine debrisplannedIrina surface drifter nicely decorated unit to be deployed by local lobsterman
Gloucester MA Middle SchoolMaderia/Higgins/DonnellyCaptain Bill Whale Watchlate May 2016 Mass Bay1marine debrisplannedIrina surface drifter
Univ of Central FloridaMansfieldlate May 2016 Gulf of Mexico4turtlesplannedbucket drifters
Cape Fear Community CollegeDeganSpring 2016 Gulf Stream2Marine Techplannedunmanned sailboat and drifter
GOMITerry et allate 2016Gulf of Maine~10turtles,cod, & educationplannedIrina surface & Tim Drogued drifters
Stockton UniversityPfeiffer-Hebert2016 Mid-Atl. Bight2educationplannedIrina surface drifters
South Shore Natural Science CenterGaluzzoCaptain Johns Whale Watch1 June 2016 Mass Bay2educationplannedsurface drifters includes Plymouth_Middle_School redeployment
Inly School of ScituateMcGonagle/GalluzzoRosewayJune 2016 Mass Bay1educationplannedsurface drifters World Ocean School involved with deployment
Rockport MA HighSabo Fall 2016 Mass Bay1marine debrisplannedIrina surface drifter
ManchesterNH HighHartwellSeven_Sea_Whale_WatchFall 2016 Mass Bay1marine debrisplannedIrina surface drifter
Manchester Essex MAMagers/Baker 2016 Mass Bay1marine debrisplannedIrina surface drifter
Cohasset MA Middel SchoolSears 2016 Mass Bay1marine debrisplannedIrina surface drifter
Duxbury MA HighMcCarthy/Nelson 2016 Mass Bay1marine debrisplannedIrina surface drifter
Tabor Academy MADavid/Randall 2016 Mass Bay1marine debrisplannedIrina surface drifter
Kingswood Regional Wolfboro NHDrennan-Doiron 2016 Mass Bay1marine debrisplannedIrina surface drifter
Falmouth ME HighKralic/Njaa 2016 Mass Bay1marine debrisplannedIrina surface drifter
Marshwood ME MiddleBarron 2016 Mass Bay1marine debrisplannedIrina surface drifter
Merrimack NH HighCuthbert/Harrignton 2016 Mass Bay1marine debrisplannedIrina surface drifter
Lawrence Junior High MASmith/Tribou 2016 Mass Bay1marine debrisplannedIrina surface drifter
Oakridge Sandwich MAHandrahan/Chambers 2016 Mass Bay1marine debrisplannedIrina surface drifter
St John Paul II Hyannis MARemillard Summer/Fall 2016 Nantucket Sound?1marine debrisplannedIrina surface drifter
Bourne MA HighCollins 2016 Mass Bay1marine debrisplannedIrina surface drifter
Cape Cod Academy Osterville MALewison 2016 Mass Bay1marine debrisplannedIrina surface drifter
Sturgis East Hyannis MAStrong 2016 Mass Bay1marine debrisplannedIrina surface drifter
Dennis-Yarmouth MA RegionalLoebig 2016 Mass Bay1marine debrisplannedIrina 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 508-495-4727 or email james.manning@noaa.gov.