2020 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 animation of all tracks.
Download drifter construction manuals and lesson plans
Find out how to get involved with the project
Predict where a drifter will go (not maintained in 2020)
To see this month's tracks overlaid on other fields (sst, models, etc), go to the MARACOOS site.
Access the historical drifter data (when server is working).
Read about drifters in the news (no longer maintained)
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 in previous years:
2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018.

To get PYTHON processing routines, email James Manning for the latest versions.

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

Eddie Buoy
PI (report/blog) Deployers (deploy video) Date Deployed (animation) Dropsite (forecast) #units Science (googleearth) Status (googlemap) ID-Type of Unit (photo) Fate (photo)
LEAPWilkins/Flaherty???13 July 2017 Mass Bay1educationdoneIrina 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 survived for almost two years before it went down in a hurricanr in Sept 2019
Educational PassagesBaldwin/Stymiest 2018 Multiple Places20?educationunderwayunmanned sailboats
Stockton UniversityPfeiffer-HerbertBarnegat Bay NJ scalloper 17 Apr 2018 Mid-Atlantic Bight1educationdoneIrina surface drifter entrained in Gulf Stream mid-May and took off to the east
Salem Sound CoastwatchFlaherty 16 May 2018
29 May 2018
24 Jul 2018
Salem Sound3educationdoneIrina surface drifter185420704 may have come ashore the next morning on Pope's Island rocks but then continued on for a few days to land at Littles Point rocks near Swampscot on 18 May where Emily recovered it;
186420701 was deployed near shore and made its way out around Georges Bank on the southern flank in late July ...;
187420704 deployed just east of Baker's Island on 24 July and washed ashore a few days later near the Curtis Estate (Manchester-by-the-Sea) where Emily recovered it.
Falmouth MA High SchoolMillikenKaren Elizabeth 14 Oct 2018 Mid-Atlantic Bight1educationdoenIrina surface drifter180410711 easily escaped the shelf, finally entrained in the Gulf Stream in late Nov, caught in enormous Gulf Stream ring, died past the Azores in March 2020
Winnacunnet NH High SchoolPaganoBobby Nudd/Al Gauron/Pete Kirkland 26 Oct 2018 off NH1educationdoneIrina surface drifters180430701 went dead before Azores in early Oct 2019
Thetford Vt ElementaryBradleyF/V Illusion 08 Dec 2018 Mid-Atlantic Bight1educationdoneunmanned sailboat 180400681 deployed by Mark Phillips almost made it to the Azores before it went silent.
Educational PassagesStymiest 2019 Multiple Places12+educationunderwayunmanned sailboats Navis_Stellum, MPA_Sewee_Spirit, American Sunset, SV_Jamestown, and more ...
Meridian Academy High SchoolGreenwoodJeff White 30 Mar 2019 off S. Maine2educationdoneIrina surface drifters193420701 died 12/31 mid-ocean
193420702 died 10/27 SE of Grand Banks
Waterford CT HighO'ConnerEnvirolab II - Project Oceanology 09 Apr,?? May, and 06 June 2019 Long Island Sound3educationdonebucket drifter194410721 oscillated with the tide for a few days west of Block Island until 15 April when it washed up on Sand Hill Cove Beach in Pt Judith, RI and was rescued by the Narragansett fire department;
195410721 washed up on a mansion's beach on Long Island and recovered by the local fire department there;
196410701 traveled similar to the May bucket offshore Long Island and then went silent on 27 June.
Principia CollegeFarsonR/V Jim Franks 11 Apr 2019 Gulf of Mexico2educationdoneIrina surface drifters193410691 went silent 5/28
193410693 went silent 5/26
Falmouth MA High SchoolMillikenF/V Kathy Ann 06 June 2019 Mid-Atlantic Bight1educationdoneIrina surface drifter196410711 died late August beyond Grand banks
Bangor United Tech Center
Cape Town Univ.
BaldwinMaine Maritime
S.A. Algulhas II
13 May 2019
early July 2019
North Atlantic
Indian Ocean
3educationdoneminiboatsUSS Baldwin recovered by Kells Bay lobsterman in Ireland
USS Miller stopped reporting off the Portuguese mainland in early November
Sailing on a Dream made it remote beach in Australia and apparently never found.
WHOI/ECOHABMcGillicuddy/KeaferR/V Connecticut 13 June 2019 Bay of Fundy4HABsdoneIrina surface drifter and drogued196440671 ....;
196440672 drogue completed first trip around gyre in 12 days, hungup on gear, cut up with drogue getting to the mainland and surface float escaping to the south....;
196440673 after one trip around the gyre traveled 6600km in the upper-bay tide until it came ashore during Dorian's passage on 8 Sept 2019 and was recovered by Tracy Webb "Only missing two panels and one bottom bar!";
196440674 drogue escaped towards Digby Neck before others, recovered by Steve Travis, a lobsterman, on 28 June and brought inland.;
WaterstartFoxPolaris18 June 2019Off Bermuda1educationunderwayCassie surface bamboo drifter196320641 made several loops around Bermuda and ...
WHOI/ECOHABMcGillicuddy/KeaferR/V Connecticut 11 July 2019 Bay of Fundy5HABsdoneIrina surface drifter and drogued197440671 drogued landed on Cape Cod in Oct Northeaster but never found;
197440672 drogued came ashore near Cape Chignecto (West Advocate Nova Scotia), recovered drogueless by Doug Morris and Susan Clarke who will mail back transmitter to Erin;
197440673 drogued deployed south of Grand Manan, made it to the Gulf Stream, and died in mid-December
197440674 recovered by Acadia Univ in October;
197440675 made it all the way to Grand Banks, still going in January 2020;
GLERLRuberg?? 19 June 2019 Lake Michigan1instrument testdoneEddie surface drifter196430861 ...
US Navy Sea CadetsThiede 11 Sep 2019 off Hudson Shelf1educationdone "Denis" surface drifter With spars secured well with stays and additional flotation, it got caught Gulf Stream but then started intermittent reports until ...
Acadia UniversityRedden/Sanderson/Adams?? 10 Sep 2019 Upper Bay of Fundy1tidal powerdoneSpecial Drogue 5m deepOther instruments as deep as 23.3m oscillated in the big tide for weeks before grounding in early October 2019 near Halls Harbor
Sturgis High School/NSF StrongR/V Thompson 06 Aug 2019 Mid-Atlantic Bight1educationdoneIrina surface drifter198390691 big loop in a Gulf Stream ring then died south of the Scotian Shelf in mid-Novemebr
GLERLRuberg??12 Sep 2019 Lake Erie1HABsdoneEddie surface drifters199410811 died offshore after a few weeks.
199410812 long distance alongshore and died in mid-December
199410813 long distance alongshore and died in mid-December
St Hubert's Catholic High School for GirlsFrankRutgers oceanographers 15 Oct 2019 NY Harbor1educationdoneIrina surface drifters196390731 made it into the Gulf Stream and died in mid-January 2020
U MaineHillyer?? 2019 Maine Coast3educationdonebucket driftersnot processed by NOAA
Boston College High SchoolGourlisAlbatross 31 Oct 2019 Cape Cod Bay2educationdoneIrina surface drifters190410701 landed on Great island in Wellfleet
Gulf of Maine InstituteHalloran/Smith?? 14 Nov 2019Mass Bay2educationdoneIrina surface drifters190410705 landed near Barnstable Harbor
Wellfleet Audubon/URI/Falmouth Schools/Cape Cod AcademyPage/Green/Milliken/Smith/McManusAlbatross 31 Oct 2019
14 Nov 2019
15 Nov 2019
19 Nov 2019
Cape Cod Bay14+education/turtlesdoneIrina surface drifters,retractable drogues,miniboats,etc190410701 ...190410704
190410705 ...190410707
190410709 ...1904107011
1904107012 ...1904107014
Wellan MontessoriLucier?? 19 Nov 2019 Mass Bay2education/turtlesunderwaywooden turtle190420702 headed for Cape Cod Bay evidently healthy and upright
Savannah StateHintzR/V Margaret Robinson 19 Nov 2019 South Atlantic Bight1educationunderwayIrina surface drifters190320801 ...
Oglethorpe Charter SchoolWellsR/V Margaret Robinson 19 Nov 2019South Atlantic Bight2educationdoneIrina surface drifters190320802 ...
190320803 ...
University of Otago New ZealandSmith?? 2019off New Zealand6educationtest/faileddrogued drifters190451701 ...
190451702 ...
190451703 ...
190451704 ...
190451705 ...
190451706 ...
University of Otago New ZealandSmith?? 2020off New Zealand6educationunderwaydrogued drifters201451701 ...
201451702 came shore a few weeks later on the peninsula south of Christchurch
201451703 came shore a few weeks later on the peninsula south of Christchurch
201451704 ...
201451705 ...
201451706 ...
Educational PassagesStymiest 2020 Multiple Places??educationunderwayunmanned sailboats
Southern Maine Community CollegeTarbox/LongCaptain B (Jeff Putnam)24 Feb 2020 Jeffries Ledge1educationunderway2x4 mast 202430702
Woods Hole Oceanographic InstituteLlopiz/HernandezR/V Neil Armstrong12 March 2020 off SNE shelf1larval transportunderway Bamboo drogue drifter 203400671 deployed foof shelf
Oregon State UniversityArnesen??05 March 2020 off Oregon1buoyunderwaymooring 203431241
University of Otago New ZealandSmith? 01 June 2020off New Zealand6cross-frontal exchangeunderwaydrogued drifters206451701 ...
20645702 ...
206451704 ...
206451705 ...
206451706 ...
Well Estuarine ReserveGoldstein/LippmannR/V Endeavor 25 June 2020 Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve/UNH24lobsterunderwaysurface 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 508-495-4727 or email james.manning@noaa.gov.