US Harbors Launches Tide Station Pilot Project in Penobscot Bay, ME
Hyper-local Stations to Provide Real-Time, Observational Data on Sea-Levels for 5 Coastal Towns
Rockland, Maine — US Harbors, in partnership with Divirod, a data and technology company, is launching a pilot program in Penobscot Bay, ME to test a new technology for water-level sensing.
NOAA currently maintains 200 live, observational tide stations in the United States, 50 of which are in the Great Lakes. Their tide stations are highly sophisticated, and therefore expensive to implement. NOAA’s budget can’t support providing stations in every location, so tide predictions for most towns are algorithmically derived (e.g., not based on actual observations). This gap in coverage makes it impossible for local communities to fully understand—and plan effectively for—changes in storm surge trends and sea-level rise.
US Harbors, a Rockland-based company, has been looking for affordable solutions to this issue. This 6-month pilot program to monitor sea-level rise in Maine will include 5 sites in Penobscot Bay, ME: Belfast, Camden, Rockport, Rockland, and Tenants Harbor/Saint George. During the trial each site will have access to hyper-local tide data as well as a flood alert service. The objective of the pilot is to determine solutions for long-term monitoring of sea-levels that are accessible to small municipalities.
The pilot will be in effect for 6 months–from October through March–during which stakeholders will review and give feedback on various aspects of the technology and data service. US Harbors and Divirod will also aggregate the tidal data across the 5 pilot communities to evaluate trends and will review findings with the key players in the Maine state government and NOAA. The technology and data services are being provided for free by Divirod for the duration of the pilot project.
US Harbors is also planning additional pilot projects in other parts of the country to test other available tide monitoring technologies.
- Week of Sept. 27th – Units will be installed in the 5 test sites.
- Week of Oct. 25th – First group Zoom check-in to review data and experience to date.
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