Thawing ice allows re-deploying of Great Lakes data buoys

National and World
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ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) – As ice thaws around the Great Lakes, technicians are preparing to re-deploy buoys that gather a wealth of information for use in research, water safety efforts and recreation.

About a dozen research institutions operate buoys in the lakes. Many of them provide data to the nonprofit Great Lakes Observing System, which makes it available online.

Its website offers real-time data from the buoys, which are returned to the water as soon as harbors and boat launches are ice-free.

It can help boaters and anglers avoid potentially dangerous conditions, while scientists get material that feeds computer models predicting weather and other lake characteristics.

Ed Verhamme of the Ann Arbor-based engineering firm LimnoTech says spring can be a particularly hazardous season, as conditions are often rough and change quickly.

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