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
Drifter newsletters
Drifters in the news
See raw statistics.
Check on your satellite fix use.

See other years:
2011 | 2012 | 2013

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 PassagesBaldwin12 May 2012 Gulf Stream 5educational doneboats 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 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!
Scotish Gov'tHughes11 Dec 2013 Scotland8HF Radardone4x4 mast headed NNE, eastern-most 3 apparently ashore on Shetland Islands late December, and the others and ...
UCONNDierssen6 Jan 2014 Florida Keys3seaweed driftdonebuckets All three escaped to the ocean side in the first day or two and then recovered off shore of Sugarloaf Key on 10 January.
UCONNDierssen11 Jan 2014 Florida Keys3seaweed driftdonebuckets All three came ashore on the west coast of Long Key late in the day Jan 15th.
UCONNDierssen17 Jan 2014 Florida Keys2seaweed driftdonebuckets 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'tHughes/Berx04 May 2014 Scotland9HF Radardone4x4 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 HighWilbur/Ratley10 May 2014 Mass Bay2instrument testdoneEddie 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 SanctuaryPeterson12 May 2014 Georgia2river outflow/dye studydonebamboo 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.
WHOIGeyer/McDonald16 May 2014 Connecticut River9tidal riverdonebucket drifters short tracks, unprocessed
Univ. of Central FloridaMansfield19 May 2014 Gulf of Mexico 6turtles donebuckets 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 PassagesBaldwin20 May 2014 Near the Azores 2educational doneboat 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/WHOIBackus/Beriau/Terry/Keafer/Steingart22 May and 06 Jun 2014 off Southern Maine2HABsdoneIrina 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 HighGalluzzo/Jacoby/Frazier26 May 2014 Mass Bay1educationdoneIrina 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 PassagesBaldwin30 May 2014 off Lisbon Portugal 1educational doneboat under sail boats under sail refurbished by Luis Sebastiao at the Institute for Systems and Robotics after it landed in Portugal, and redeployed
NOAA/NEFSCWarren/Crosier03 Jun 2014 Nantucket Sound 1instrument test doneexperimental 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 FloridaMansfield03 Jun 2014 Gulf of Mexico 4turtles donebuckets 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 LabRuberg/McCormick05 Jun 2014 Lakes Huron 2exchange doneEddie 2x4 drifters? hugged the coast and apparently came ashore just east of Hammond Bay on 9 June
UNHBS/NERACOOSSobel/Stymiest06 Jun 2014 off S. Maine1educationdoneIrina surface drifter apparently went down mid-gulf with Hurricane Arthur
Concord MA Public Schools/Boat Camp/WHOIKablik/Hoyt/Yeoman/Kirincich06 Jun 2014 off Newburyport1educationdoneIrina surface drifter apparently low in the water column and missing GPS in rough seas
Swampscot HighWilbur/Ratley07 Jun 2014 Mass Bay1instrument testdoneEddie 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 LabRuberg/McCormick11 Jun 2014 Lakes Huron/Michigan 3exchange doneEddie 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 CampThieler/Rypina12 Jun, 14 Jul, and 5 Aug 2014 SNE Shelf3educationdone 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 HighGalluzzo/Jacoby/Frazier17 June 2014 Mass Bay1educationdoneIrina 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 BiologyGoldstein/Watson24 June 2014 Great Bay1lobsterdonebuckets grounded near Fox Point after a few hours
Cohasset Center for Student Coastal ResearchBuckley/Doherty/Adams26 June, 01, 15, 22, 26 Aug 2014 Mass Bay7educationdoneIrina 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/WHOIHartwell/Kirincich08 July 2014 off Boothbay ME1educationdone 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 MarylandXia08 Jul 2014 Lake Michigan5?doneIrina 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 MorganWhitney/Jia11-12 July 2014 Stellwagen Bank8educationdone4x4 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 MorganHaskell/Manning13 July 2014 Cape Cod Bay4educationdone 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/WHOILeavitt/Kirincich29 July 2014 off NH1educationdone Irina surface drifter middle school student participation; headed northeast and ...
Univ. of Central FloridaMansfield30 July 2014 off North Carolina 1turtles donebuckets drifter deployed alongside turtles, headed towards shore, and only survived a few days
UCONNWhitney/Jia7-8 Aug 2014 Long Island Sound11river outputdonesome 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 TrustGarson/Coleman/Brennan11 August 2014 off Belize2Educationdonesurface 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 TrustGarson/Coleman/Brennan18 August 2014 off Cuba 1Educationdonedrogued drifter headed west, apparently dragged off the south coast of Cuba, ...
Ocean Exploration TrustGarson/Coleman/Brennan24 August 2014 off Jamaica 1Educationdonesurface drifter headed gradually west and then north until it went silent on 18 October off the south coast of Jamica near some reefs ....
RiverheadDiGiovanni/Crosier18 Aug 2014 off NY2turtle & sealdoneanimal tracking no word yet from turtle, seal planned
Great Lake Environmental Research LabRuberg/Schwab/Anderson21 Aug 2014 Lakes Huron/Michigan 3exchange doneEddie 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 LabRuberg/Schwab/Anderson28 Aug 2014 Lakes Erie 1lake flow doneEddie 2x4 drifters? came ashore on 8th of September on north shore of Lake Erie
Sea KeepersMcFadden25 Aug 2014 Long Island Sound1educationdoneIrina surface drifter suddenly went silent in the channel between Montauk and Block Island three days after deployment
Grays Reef Marine SanctuaryPatterson09 Sep 2014 Georgia2river outflowdoneCassie 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 CenterMatassa/Hunter/Crosier 14 Sep 2014 Laguna Beach, Calif1sea lions donesea 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 ChemistryTobias/Raymond23 Sep 2014 Niantic River Mouth3oxygendonemini-Davis style w/YSI O2 sensors 36 hour deployment
Cape Fear Community CollegeDegan6 Oct 2014 Gulf Stream2educationdonegreen bamboo Cassie surface drifter both on their way with the Gulf Stream; 2nd one with less flotation, both apparently went down in a hurricane
UNHBSSobel12 Oct 2014 off NH2educationdoneIrina surface drifter evidently too low to get GPS
Truro Central SchoolOLeary28 Oct 2014 Off Cape Cod1educationunderwayIrina surface drifter retained in Great South Channel for weeks, eventually caught in the shelf-slope front jet to MAB, and then ...
Educational PassagesBaldwinFall 2014 multiple places 14educational underwayboat under sail boats under sail school sponsored
Falmouth AcademyFlory/Macdonald29 Nov 2014off Plymouth2potential nuclear contaminationdoneIrina 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 CollegeGalluzzo/Simmons29 Nov & 26 Dec 2014 Mass Bay1educationdoneIrina 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 AlliancePrescott/Carson14 Nov, 29 Nov 2014 Cape Cod Bay6turtlesdoneIrina 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 ServicesDusek/Standridge03 Dec 2014 Chesapeake Bay1model validationunderway 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 CollegeLong/Tarbox 04 Dec 2014 Casco Bay1educationunderwayEddie surface drifter quickly moved south into Mass Bay and ...
PSU/Regional Science ConsortiumBoughton/Schnars 04 Dec 2014 Lake Eire2educationdoneEddie surface drifters deployed by border patrol, headed intially west, one reporting less than the other, and ...
Falmouth AcademyFlory/Macdonald16 Dec 2014off Plymouth2potential nuclear contaminationdoneIrina 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 HighWilbur/RatleyFeb 2015 Mass Bay3educationplannedIrina surface drifters
Suffolk UnivStehlin2015?off NH?1engineering experimentplanneddrogued drifter
Jacksonville UnivStalker2015? off Florida1river plumeplanned?? drifter
Cantebury School/USFCummings2015? Florida Shelf1educationplannedIrina 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 james.manning@noaa.gov.