Bradford Beach buoy deployed to monitor water safety

Undaunted by the fog shrouding Lake Michigan, researchers from UWM’s School of Freshwater Sciences sailed aboard the UWM research vessel Neeskay one recent morning to deploy a buoy a half-mile off Bradford Beach.

The buoy monitors conditions on the lake and is a key element in improving water quality warnings. It gathers information about bacteria, algae, temperature, wind and waves and transmits that info in real time to an online database. That allows officials to detect almost immediately when dangerous bacteria might be present and the beach should be closed.

Built by UWM researchers and launched for the first time last year, the buoy is a collaborative effort between the university and the City of Milwaukee Health Department.

Up-to-date data from the buoy can be viewed at the Bradford Buoy website.