Backyard Buoys: Bringing Wave Buoys to Indigenous Communities

Indigenous communities have relied on the ocean for millennia and still do to this day. Climate change, however, is making the ocean unpredictable, and poses a new and urgent challenge. Rising temperatures and sea levels threaten coastal communities and whalers or fishers ask “Is today a safe day to take my boat out?” they simply do not have the wave data necessary to complement their Indigenous Knowledge and make an informed decision. In order to provide Indigenous communities with wave data, collaboration and funding is paramount. As part of a commuity-led ocean observing project funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) Convergence Accelerator program, AOOS is partnering with two other regional associations (PacIOOS in Hawai’i and the U.S. Pacific Islands and NANOOS in the Pacific northwest U.S.), a technology partner (Sofar Ocean), and Indigenous partners from the Pacific Islands, Pacific Northwest, and the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission (AEWC) to launch Backyard Buoys. Watch the short introduction video.