OCNMS moorings can be seen on the surface of the water by an
orange float connected to a flagged 6 ft. pole with a radar reflector.
Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary collects a variety of basic oceanographic data to monitor
water quality, plankton blooms (including harmful algal blooms or "HABs"), upwelling, and low
oxygen events. Variation of these conditions directly affects fish and other marine life, wildlife
abundances, and human health in the region, and data collected are useful for both monitoring and
predicting the status of the coastal environment.
The primary tools used by the sanctuary to monitor oceanographic conditions are
instrumented research moorings
The sanctuary first deployed moorings in 2000, and is currently maintaining The sanctuary
first deployed moorings in 2000, and is currently maintaining 10 at these
The moorings are a lightweight design and are deployed from the sanctuary's research vessel,
, in the spring and recovered in the fall. Several times during the summer,
each mooring is pulled out of the water for cleaning, servicing, and
downloaded before being re-deployed.
Mooring instrumentation that collects data on water quality is
mounted on a "rosette" and deployed throughout the summer season along the Washington
Instrumentation is mounted at various altitudes on the moorings. All moorings measure
temperature and some measure salinity, water velocity and direction, chlorophyll
concentration, water turbidity, and oxygen levels. See our
for details on mooring design, instrumentation and historic deployment summaries. Brief
summaries of recent years' mooring work can be found on our
Surveys and Cruises page
Data from these instruments are used by a variety of sanctuary partners including:
You are the most likely group of boaters to encounter our moorings in the water. The
moorings hold delicate and expensive equipment that collects valuable data. Please try to
stay at least 100 yards away from moorings to avoid accidental entanglement or damage to
your vessel and the instrumentation. Current mooring locations are listed
. If you
have concerns or suggestions, or would like more information about the moorings, please
. If you have "caught" any of our
equipment, please let us know as soon as possible so we can recover valuable data and equipment.
Did you find something odd or that looks like it might be a piece of oceanographic equipment?
Does it have "OCNMS" identified on it? If you have found mooring components
(see the instrumentation page
) drifting or on the beach please notify
. Even damaged instrumentation may
still contain important data, and we would like to retrieve any loose equipment. We greatly
appreciate your help, and we will make every effort to retrieve this equipment from you.
See a map
of our oceanographic moorings sites.
Contact for page content: Kathy Hough