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 an animation of 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 weeks's tracks overlaid on other fields (sst, models, etc), go to the MARACOOS OCEANSMAP site
Access the historical drifter data.
Read about drifters in the news (no longer maintained)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 | 2019.

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)
Educational PassagesBaldwin/Stymiest 2018 Multiple Places20?educationunderwayunmanned sailboats
Educational PassagesStymiest 2019 Multiple Places12+educationunderwayunmanned sailboats Navis_Stellum, MPA_Sewee_Spirit, American Sunset, SV_Jamestown, and more ...
WaterstartFoxPolaris18 June 2019Off Bermuda1educationdoneCassie surface bamboo drifter196320641 made several loops around Bermuda evidently stuck in the triangle for nearly a year, fate unknown.
Wellan MontessoriLucier?? 19 Nov 2019 Mass Bay2education/turtlesdonewooden turtle190420702 made it beyond Grand Banks healthy and upright, died in Aug 2020 south of Grand Banks
Savannah StateHintzR/V Margaret Robinson 19 Nov 2019 South Atlantic Bight1educationdoneIrina surface drifters190320801 recirculating in North Atlantic died 16 Aug 2020;
190320802 died in Feb 2020;
190320803 died 31 Jan 2020;
Educational PassagesStymiest 2020 Multiple Places8+educationunderwayunmanned sailboats DespaSEAto; RiptideII; Rye_Riptide; Philbert; to name a few ...
Southern Maine Community CollegeTarbox/LongCaptain B (Jeff Putnam)24 Feb 2020 Jeffries Ledge1educationdone2x4 mast 202430702 Off Georges in June 2020, picked out of the water by tuna fisherman, Greg Mayer on F/V Fishin Frenzy out of Oregon Inlet in N. Carolina in Sept 2020, put back a week later, and died mid-November 2020 near NE Seamounts
Oregon State UniversityArnesen??05 March 2020; 14 Oct 2020 off Oregon2buoyunderwaymooring 203431241
University of Otago New ZealandSmith? 01 June 2020off New Zealand6cross-frontal exchangedonedrogued drifters206451701 caught in fishing net 27 June and brought ashore (drogue cut free);
20645702 decommissioned Sept 2020;
206451703 decommissioned Sept 2020;
206451704 decommissioned Sept 2020;
206451705 decommissioned Sept 2020;
206451706 decommissioned Sept 2020
Well Estuarine ReserveGoldstein/LippmannR/V Endeavor 25 June 2020 Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve/UNH24lobsterdonesurface drifters 206430701 decommissioned on 9 Dec 2020 well along in the Gulf Stream;
206430702 decommissioned on 8 Aug 2020;
206430703 came ashore 7/5 and recovered by Christina at the end of Ocean Ave in Swampscott;
206430704 went dead east of Cape Code on 22 Sep 2020;
206430705 decommissioned on 8 Aug 2020;
206430706 decommissioned on 17 Dec 2020 after it was apparently failing and, based on the track, may not be in one piece.;
206430707 decommissioned on 3 Nov 2020 over the NE Seamounts;
206430708 decommissioned on 8 Aug 2020;
2064307010 went dead on Jeffries Ledge on 7/10/2020;
2064307011 went dead in warm core ring on 9/25/2020;
2064307015 decommissioned on 24 Nov 2020 after spinning in a Gulf Stream Ring for a few weeks;
22064307017 went dead in Boston shipping lane 7/9/2020;
22064307018 went dead near Jefferies Ledge on 9/16/2020;
2064307019 came ashore 6/28 and recovered near Rye Harbor;
2064307020 came in an out of Newburyport Harbor on 6/30,eventually came ashore at the Gothwait Reservation near Marblehead, and recovered by their harbor master office ;
2064307021 decommissioned on 8 Aug 2020;
2064307022 came ashore 6/30 and recovered under dock in Newburyport ;
2064307023 decommissioned on 8 Aug 2020;
Jacksonville Marine LabStalkerCrowley's M/V El Coqui 25 July 2020
26 Sep2020
Gulf Stream3Educationdonesurface drifter 207200791 with PVC frame deployed in Gulf Stream off a container ship and petered out in early Fall;
209200791 and 209200792 with PVC frame also deployed in Gulf Stream
USCG SAR unitsWoodair deployed 2019-2020 East Coast & Lakes~20SARdonesurface drifters Search and Rescue
Governors AcademyKnightF/V Lady Rebecca 05 Oct 2020 Fippennies Ledge Gulf of Maine~2 educationunderwaysurface drifters
United Technical CenterBaldwin 11 Oct 2020 1educationdoneunmanned sailboat The Alexander surveyed the Gulf of Maine for a few weeks, washed up on a remote island on the rocky northwestern shore of Wood Island on the east side of Casco Bay, recovered by lobsterman Gregory Baker and his wife Melissa picked her up drifting off West Point. Her mast broke off several inches above the deck and the sail had asmall hole in her.bpw and badly scrapped up.
United Technical CenterBaldwinCaptain Todd Ellis F/V Rachel Leah 30 Dec 2020 off Georges Bank1educationunderwayunmanned sailboat The Alexander finally on its way across the ocean...
South Kingston RI SchoolsDillmanR/V Endeavor ?? Jan 2021 Mid-Atlantic Bight1Educationplannedsurface drifter 211400711...

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.