The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Park Service, in a Memorandum of Agreement signed in October, will expand their collaboration on Bay-related programs, including the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail and NOAA's Chesapeake Bay Interpretive Buoy System.

Under the agreement, the agencies would work together to:

  • Coordinate education, interpretation and public information efforts through cooperative development of environmental education and public information programs, services and activities;
  • Share data, scientific tools and expertise to promote Bay restoration and protection; and
  • Explore exchanging personnel and conducting joint training exercises.

"This agreement by NOAA and the National Park Service is a perfect example of the type of progressive leadership and cooperation needed to restore and protect the Chesapeake Bay, a true national treasure," said Jeff Lape, director of the Chesapeake Bay Program.

The buoys collect weather, oceanographic and water-quality observations and transmit this data in near-real time. These measurements, as well as historical and cultural information, can be accessed at www.buoybay.org or 877-286-9229.

To date, six of these buoys, which are developed and maintained by NOAA, have been stationed throughout the Bay.

The Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail commemorates Smith's explorations of 1607-1609, providing information about Chesapeake Indians of the period and interpreting the natural history of the Bay.

The National Park Service's Chesapeake Bay Office administers the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail as well as the Chesapeake Bay Gateways and Watertrails Network, a partnership of more than 160 parks, refuges, watertrails, historic sites and museums throughout the Bay watershed.