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NOAA installs real-time oceanographic equipment at Port Everglades

(Photo: Port Everglades)
Officials from NOAA, Port Everglades, Broward County and the Florida Inland Navigation District were among those on hand for installation of the Physical Oceanographic Real-Time System
Real-time tides, currents, water levels and other meterological information at Port Everglades is now live online or by phone thanks to an advanced sensor device developed and installed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The Physical Oceanographic Real-Time System (PORTS) is available at porteverglades.net (top of the homepage under 'Tides & Currents') or via phone at 1-866-213-5269.

Data will help mariners make safer choices

'Boaters and commercial mariners will be able to make safer choices based on the data from this equipment because it gives real-time information and forecasts,' said Port Everglades deputy port director Glenn Wiltshire. 'Before this equipment went into service, mariners had to rely on data for Lake Worth in Palm Beach County, or from Virginia Key in Miami to estimate conditions here.'

Aiding preparedness for storms, climate changes and sea-level rise

'Having real-time tides, water levels and other meteorological information all online or via a toll-free phone number is truly an asset that we can all enjoy,' Broward County commissioner Chip LaMarca said. 'Moreover, this equipment is collecting data about our natural resources that we can apply to preparations for storms, climate changes and sea-level rise.'

Broward County’s Environmental Planning & Community Resilience Division co-sponsored the PORTS device because it provides valuable data for storm and climate-change preparedness. The Florida Inland Navigation District provided a grant offsetting a portion of the cost to install the equipment.

Real-time tide and weather information

'Port Everglades' PORTS will give vessel operators the real-time tide and weather information they need to help them navigate these waters more safely and efficiently,' said Rich Edwing, director of NOAA's Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services. 'This is a win for the port, the surrounding communities and every business and industry that depends upon these cruise and cargo ships.'

PORTS is a decision-support tool that improves the safety and efficiency of maritime commerce and coastal resource management through the integration of real-time environmental observations, forecasts and other geospatial information. PORTS measures and disseminates observations and predictions of water levels, currents and meteorological parameters—for example, winds, atmospheric pressure, air and water temperatures—that mariners need to navigate safely.

The installation includes a micro-wave, water-level sensor that is a non-contact, highly accurate sensor used to measure distance and that can monitor long-term sea-level changes. The back-up water-level sensor is pressure-based. The meteorological station has been positioned on the roof of the port’s Harbormaster Tower and is outfitted with primary back-up wind sensors that provide wind speed and direction.

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