2017 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.
See leaflet animation of all tracks.
See the latest quicker gif animation of tracks.
Download drifter construction manuals and lesson plans
Find out how to get involved with the project
Predict where a drifter (deployed off New England) will go
To see this month's tracks overlaid on other fields (sst, models, etc), go to the MARACOOS site and click on "Drifter" layer.
See drifters and unmanned sailboats documented at NERACOOS
Read 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
Read about drifters in the news
Get information on a related unmanned sailboat project
Plots of this year's tracks are linked in the table below.
Get raw statistics.
Check on your satellite fix use.
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Drifter tracks from other years:
2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016

To get PYTHON 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

PI (report/blog) Deployers (deploy video) Date Deployed (animation) Dropsite (forecast) #units Science (googleearth) Status (googlemap) ID-Type of Unit (photo) Fate (photo)
Educational PassagesBaldwin2016 multiple places 10?educational underwayboat under sail "Crimson Voyager" late 2015;
"West" 28 Jan 2016 landed in Scotland Aug 2016;
"Lightning Bolt" late Winter;
"SS DCA Eagle" late winter 2016 (twice);
"Red Storm" 14 April 2016 landed in Ireland;
"Atlantic Flame" 18 April 2016 ashore a few days later
"Atlantic Flame" again 4 May 2016 off France in early 2017
"Lancer" 4 May 2016 off R/V Neil Armstrong landed in Ireland
"CanariesII" 12 May 2016 off Canaries landed in Yucatan in Feb 2017
"Cougars" deployed off Maryland and west of Gibralter in early 2017
"Radcliffe Creek" off Maryland
"Osprey" deployed off Maryland landed in Wales
"Carolina Dreamer_2" deployed north of the Azores
Hingham MA HighGauthier/CampbellWhale Watch 27 Apr 2016 Mass Bay1marine debrisdoneIrina surface drifter well documented in ppt; close call near P-Town; circumnavigated Georges Bank, entered Gulf Stream off Chesapeake in November,
Waterford CT HighO'ConnerR/V Neil Armstrong07 May 2016 Mid-Atl. Bight2educationdoneunmanned sailboat and Irina surface drifter 164400721 sailboat landed in Ireland in Sept 2016;
174530091 redeployed by Marine Institute in May 2017, landed in England in Sept 2017 while;
164400722 drifter is only half way there
St John Evangelist Beverly SchoolPomeroyCaptain Bill Whale Watch19 May 2016 Mass Bay1marine debrisdoneIrina surface drifter exited Georges Bank near NE Channel and made it into Gulf Stream in late September
Morse High Bath MEIlkovich/YoungF/V Illusion from Belfast ME31 May 2016 Maine Coastal Current1marine debrisdoneIrina surface drifter with help from fishermen James Carroll and Nick Hawke; exited Georges Bank near NE Channel and made it into Gulf Stream in late September; south of Scotian Shelf in late November
South Shore Natural Science Center/ISML/SEADeGiulio/Galuzzo/Zetler1 June 2016 Mass Bay6educationdonesurface drifters 166420705Plymouth_Middle_School_2 landed near Sandy Hook NJ in Sept;
166420703 SSCPS died SNE shelfedge in Aug;
166420702 Hanover middle died south of GSCin Aug;
166420707 SEA redeployed Plymouth Middle of Isle of Shoals;
166420701 Inly school died east of NE Channel in August;
166420704 PMS_1 died in late Oct in Gulf Stream;
1674207010 Germantown past Grand Banks in late Dec
167420706 PCIS past Mid-Atl Ridge in Feb 2017
Center for Student Coastal ResearchBuckleyMr.Paul Adams15 July 2016Mass Bay3marine debrisdone1 drogued and 3 surface drifters drogue dragged on ledge after five days and disappeared; surface drifters spent time north of Georges Bank
Cohasset MA Middle SchoolSears/Buckley 15 July 2016 Mass Bay1marine debrisdoneIrina surface drifter time north of Georges Bank
St Pauls Advance Sci&Math HighJones/DavisAppledore Whale Watch? 17 July 2016 Mass Bay1marine debrisdoneIrina surface drifter deployed off Isle of Shoals; off Georges Bank near NE Channel in Sept 2016;
Cape Fear Community CollegeDegan27 Sep 2016 Gulf Stream2Marine Techunderwayunmanned sailboats SS Daniel went east and landed on Flores Azores in Oct 2017 while SS Lester Bell dilly dallied south, sailed through TS Jose in Sept 2017, and ...
Thetford Vt ElementaryBradleyF/V RaiderIII 02 Oct 2016 off Cape Cod2educationdoneIrina surface drifter 160420691 thanks to Billy & Cheryl Souza it was deployed multiple times. This first time it only lasted a few tides before washing up on Head of the Meadow Beach, recovered, and redeployed;
160420692 thanks to Rick Lukas, a beachwalker on vacation, was delivered back to Billy, and this second deployment headed out to sea and finally died well past the Grand Banks
South Shore Natural Science Center SchoolsDeGiulio/Koury/JacobsCap'n John Whale Watch19 Oct 2016 Mass Bay10educationdonesurface drifters headed NNW, around the Cape, on to Nantucket Shoals, and all starting dying near 60 degW.
Educational PassagesBaldwin Fall 2016 Multiple Places20educationunderwayunmanned sailboats North Atlantic Regatta
Center for Student Coastal ResearchBuckleyR/V Auk5 Nov 2016Mass Bay2 marine debrisdoneIrina surface drifters 1604207013 stuck around in Mass Bay for a few weeks, came ashore in Hatches Harbor, collected by Chris Anderson (NPS), brought to Race Point Ranger Station all in one peice, and ...;
1604207014 went offshore first;
Tabor Academy MADavid/Randall/Albright 24 Nov 2016 Mass Bay1marine debrisdoneIrina surface drifter close to Bermuda and then died several months later mid-ocean
NOAAManningF/V Resolve8 Dec 2016 Cape Cod Bay2instrument testdoneIrina surface drifter & star-shaped eco-friendly drogue 1604107022 CCA surf drifter came ashore;
1604107023 drogue died mid-ocean on 8 May 2017
UCONNJia/Whitney???12 Apr 2017 Long Island Sound9river plume dynamicsdonebucket drifters 174410721 through the Sluiceway the next day and landed on Block Island five days later;
174410722 along Orient Pt shore the next day collected by Joe Bandarchuk ;
174410723 along West Greenport on 15 May near a big mansion and reported by Tom Schlecht who spotted it lobstering thinking it was a buoy and will mail transmitter back;
174410724 landed on Sheffield Island off Norfork CT on 5/7 & transmitter was returned;
174410725 apparently landed on Charles Island off Milford CT on 4/20 but stopped transmitting;
174410726 came ashoe at Eaton's Neck in Northport, NY on May 4th, reported by Peter Aroniadis who returned the transmitter.
174410728 stopped transmitting mid-sound (outside Northport Harbor) on Apr 27th and transmitter found by Dan Weber at Seymours Marina in Northport on 15 May.
174410729 along Plum Island western shore the next day and recovered by Kevin Maier on 24 April who will mail in the transmitter;
UMarylandMeng???29 Mar 2017 Maryland intercoastal5dispersion?doneIrina surface drifter three escaped the estuaries w/two heading offshore
Educational PassagesBaldwin2017 multiple places ~20educational underwayboat under sail "Osprey" to be deployed by Wales;"patriot_pride";
"Black Rock";

GOMIHalloran/FlahertyJaySpring/Summer 2017 GOM9educationunderwaysurface and drogued drifters 174420701 Kennebunk High took traditional path towards Georges bank;
175420701 Beverly High washed into the Nauset Marsh on the morning of 25 May and recovered by JiM & crew on 30 May;
175420702 Beverly High looped Mass Bay, headed back to the North Shore, and finally died off Cape Cod in June 2nd
175420703 drogued drifter got caught in Mass Bay eddy, beat up on the Graves rocks for a few days, and then brought into the dock by Dave Waller, the lighthouse keeper, on 31 May;
175420704 Salem Sound Club S surface drifter went in and out of Plymouth Harbor multiple times and apparently washed ashore north of Truro's Head of the Meadow Beach on 6 June, recovered by a couple on vacation, brought to Olivia at WBWS on June 11 and shut off by James;
176420701 Mellini Chen and Jake Williams Lowell_Univ unit ...;
176420702 Brian Smiths Betheham_NH unit circled the gulf, headed home in Sept 2017, and then finally came ahore near Cape St Marys in Nove Scotia at the end of November 2017?;
176420703 Paddy Cummings RVCS;
176420704 Paddy Cummings RVCS;
178420708 NOCK Middle School with sails on wrong end of mast, taken out of water near Ptown in Sept 2017, brought to fishermans home in Marshfield, and ...;
ECOHAB/WHOIMcGillicuddy/StymiestCapt. Vincent Shepard on Grand Manan Adventure Ferry and R/V TIOGA25 May
6 June
23 June
21 July
11 Aug 2017
Bay of Fundy10HABsunderwaysurface and drogued drifters 175440661 headed SW w/NE winds, veered into Gulf, skirted NE Channel, flowed back up to BoF, taking out of water in North Head Harbor, recovered by Captain Vince, and should be picked up by JiM's dad in late Sept 2017;
175440662 13m drogue headed SW w/episodic transmissions at first, hugged the coast, aground outside New Harbor ME until it was recovered, thanks to DMR's Katherine Thompson, on 6 July by the Matt Sinclair with the Maine Marine Patrol;
176440661 picked out of water 4-5 hours after deployment, brought to Campobello, and redeployed a few days later as 176440663;
176440662 drogued unit went NW and then around to North Head Harbor and never recovered;
176440663 redeployed unit went NE and eventually escaped to SW
176440664 drogued ashore on Indian Island after a few days and never recovered;
176440665 surface unit escaped to SW, ran into Willy Cook's Salmon pen outside Seal Cove on the southern side of Grand Manan on 9 July so Willy used Doug Worthen's cell phone to call Laurie Murison but then Willy redeployed it so it came ashore a few days later at Ancourage Provincial Park Campground where a group of boy scouts brought it to site 59 and office workers Shawna, Anna, Jennifer, and Peter retrieved it on 18 July, recovered by Lauri Murson's husband Ken who brought it to the Capt Vincent to be redeployed as 177440662, landed on Campebello, returned to WH, redeployed as 178440662, pick out of the water by Duane who gave it to Luarie to give to Joe who brough it to JiM;
176440663 long trip around Jordon Basin Gyre until finally died south of Georges Bank;
176440664 got caught up in WelshPool salmon pens, and recovered
177440662 landed in Mill Creek Cove on Campobello and recovered by Joe & Laurie Finnegan;
177440664 long trip around BoF and twice around Jordon basin gyre until finally ...;
177440665 recovered by Swan's Island lobsterman Chris Sawyer, stored by Michelle at Elemtnary School, and transported by Bill Coleman to JiM's dad;
178440661 got retained in the Bay for three plus months and can ashore near Halls Harbor in mid-Nov 2017;
UMarylandMeng???25 May 2017 Maryland intercoastal4estuary exchangedonemini surface drifter two ran aground within the first fix and two escaped to the shelf
GOMIRedden?11 June 2017
21 June 2017
Bay of Fundy
off Cape Sable
3educationdonesurface drifters 176440641 Danielle LeBland Kings County Academy deployed south of Clarks Harbor ended up on Partridge Island outside St John harbor, recovered by Jim Donahue of River Bay Kayak Adventures, and transmitter mailed back to NS.;
176440662 Northeast Kings Edu Centre Bob Barton;
176450643 Horton HS Tracy Webb and Steve Millar oscillated off Harborvill NS for weeks and brought ashore in Parrsboro by an mariner in mid-July;
176450644 Horton HS Tracy Webb and Steve Millar spent time in Minas Basin and brought ashore by a mariner in Parrsboro in late June;
Univ of Central FloridaMansfield?May 2017 Gulf of Mexico?4turtlesdonebucket drifters 175280891 picked out of the water a few days in;
175280892 headed NW towards the delta in the 1st week and then ..
Savannah StateHintzR/V ??22 June 2017 off Georgia1educationdonebamboo-framed surface drifters short track back to land in the first day
Cape Fear Community CollegeDegan19 June 2017 Gulf Stream1Marine Techunderwayunmanned sailboats
UMarylandMeng???21 June 2017 Maryland intercoastal4estuary exchangedone mini surface drifters all four on the beach after about one day
WHOIHernandezR/V Bigelow11 July 2017 off Georges Bank3Bluefin Tunaunderwaybamboo-framed star-shaped drogues 176400671 entrained in ring, flowed along shelfbreak in Sept, affected by Jose, ...;
176400672 entrained in ring, took ride with GS;
176400673 entrained in big GS ring but recovered drogueless by the Captain Katz on F/V Sea Angel from Blue harvest in Fairhaven fishing boat starting 2000Z on Aug 11th;
LEAPWilkins/Flaherty???13 July 2017 Mass Bay1educationunderwayIrina surface drifter 177420701 drifted SSW towards the mouth of Boston Harbor, body found ashore with no transmitter;
170420702 headed NE to Jeffries Ledge and then ...
UMAINEHillyerPrinceCraft 20 July 2017 Medomak Estuary6soft shell clamsdoneinstrumented bucket drifters with orange flags for visibility headed down the channel
New England Sailing and ScienceHorriganF/V Patty Jo27 July 2017 Mid-Atl Bight2educationdoneexperimental 4X4 surface drifters apparently failed
UMarylandMeng???26 July 2017 Maryland intercoastal4estuary exchangedone mini surface drifters all ashore in first tide or two
UMAINEHillyerPrinceCraft 26 July 2017 Medomak Estuary6soft shell clamsdoneinstrumented bucket drifters with orange flags; cross-channel flow
Savannah StateHintzR/V Hugh R. Sharp29 July 2017 off Miami2STEMSEASdonebamboo-framed surface drifters into the Gulf Stream
Univ of New BrunswickQuinn/Rouchette???21 July 2017 Bay of Fundy8Lobsterdonepipe surface drifters many escaped the bay
177430672 landed on Little Duck and recovered by Teagan?;
Center for Student Coastal ResearchBuckleyMr.Paul Adams10 Aug 2017Mass Bay3marine debrisunderwayIrina surface drifters
Jacksonville Marine LabStalker?July 2017 off Long Island NY1educationdoneexperimental surface drifters failed 1 week in off Long Island NY
Great Lake Enivironmental Research LabRuberg24 Aug 2017
29 Aug 2017
18 Sep 2017
Lake Erie9Coastal Hypoxia ResearchdoneEddie surface drifters178410832 came ashore more than a week later at Cedar Pt and ...;
178410833 came ashore a few days at Cedar Pt Reserved and stored at park headquarters;
178410834 made long excursions along the shore and ...;
178410835 came ashore a few days later west of Cleveland where it grounded near Huntington Beach/Morrow park;
178410836 came ashore a few days later west of Cleveland where it grounded near the boat club and was taken to 25691 Wolf Rd;
178410837 came ashore a few days later west of Cleveland appeared to be onshore, he said there is a bluff there and no access to the water. Water was too rough to approach it from the water side so had trouble to recover that one;
179410831 headed NE and finally came ashore in Dealtown on 23 Oct;
179410832 died mid-lake 13 Oct;
179410833 died in Maumee Bay shallows on 1 Oct;
WBWS/Nauset/MonomoyPrescott/Bourque/Bell25 Aug 2017
6 Nov 2017
13 Nov 2017
Cape Cod Bay6turtlesdoneIrina surface drifters 178410701 ended up in PTown harbor and recovered after circling the entire bay;
178410702 ended up in PTown harbor and recovered after circling the entire bay;
170410701 Nauset High unit headed west, drounded on Sandwich Beach on 15 Nov, and picked up by Olivia;
170410702 Nuaset High unit headed west, back east, oscillated in and out of Wellfleet Harbor and ...;
170410703 Monomoy unit headed west, back east, grounded near Duck Harbor on 24 Nov, and recovered
170410704 Monomoy unit headed west, back east, grounded near the tip on 22 Nov, and recovered by volunteer
UMarylandMeng???30 Sept 2017 Maryland intercoastal4estuary exchangedone mini surface drifters 170380751 came ashore a few days later near Metompkin Bay;
170380752 picked up by fisherman and reedeployed as 170380755;
170380753 came ashore a few days later near Metompkin Bay;
170380754 came ashore a few days later near Metompkin Bay;
170380755 came ashore a few days later near Metompkin Bay;
Thetford Vt ElementaryBradleyF/V RaiderIII 03 Oct 2017 off Cape Cod1educationdoneIrina surface drifter 170420691 deployed by Billy Souza and ...
UCONNJia/WhitneyHousatonic Marine Services & Gas Dock04 Oct 2017 Long Island Sound8river plume dynamicsdonebucket drifters 170410721 ashore at Stratford Pt next morning;
170410722 aground on the rock jetty outside next morning;
170410723 apparently hungup under Rt 95 bridge;
170410724 headed NE outside the mouth and came ashore in Woodmont on Oct 8;
170410725 aground in remote mid-river island;
170410726 ...;
170410727 ...;
170410728 ...;
Gloucester Middle SchoolHiggins/DonnellyHiggins Jr Lobsterboat 14 Oct 2017 Mass Bay1marine debrisdoneIrina surface drifter 170420701 headed NE and then ...
UMarylandMeng???20 Oct 2017 Maryland intercoastal4estuary exchangedone mini surface drifters 170380756 ashore four days later in a swampy shoreline of Cedartown, Maryland;
170380757 ashore the next day;
170380758 ashore after 3 days further down the coast;
170380759 ashore a few days later;
Southern Maine Community CollegeTarbox/LongF/V Tenacious01 Nov 2017
28 Nov 2017
Off Southern Maine2educationdone Eddie surface drifters170430701 came ashore on Peaks Island Nov 7th after a wild run around Casco Bay;
170430702 deployed by Obey Spears on 28 Nov off F/V Tenacious and headed NE against prevailing wisdom;
PortugueseSebastiao/Costa/MorrisonNov 2017 Maderia4educationunderwayunmanned sailboats Nada (ashore and recovered on Terceira a few weeks later), West (apparently crashed in St Maria), and Crimson_Voyager
Columbia River Maritime MuseumSandel et alNov 2017 Pacific Ocean10educationunderwayunmanned sailboats SV LilBigBoat ashore north of Vancouver Island, ..
Kinkaid Middle SchoolToro 2017? Gulf of Mexico1educationplannedIrina 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.