Buoy observatory gives hourly updates on Muskegon Lake

You don’t have to step into waders to get the latest information on Muskegon Lake.

Research buoy. Photo: Grand Valley State University

Thanks to the Muskegon Lake Buoy Observatory and Grand Valley State University, you can get updates on the lake’s water quality, food web structure and more without getting your feet wet.

The solar-powered buoy observatory is anchored from April to November collecting information from the water and the air to put together a real-time picture of Muskegon Lake’s environment.

The EPA dubbed the lake an Area of Concern in 1985 due to its history of trouble with water quality, habitat degradation and pollution, and is funding the project with a Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grant. With data updated hourly, researchers get a real-time picture of the lake’s environment, schools can keep tabs on the lake for classroom projects and the general public can get updates on weather and fishing conditions.