Crews deploy Port Sheldon buoy cam into Lake Michigan

Port Sheldon buoy camera
The Port Sheldon buoy camera rests on Lake Michigan on April 12, 2017. (LimnoTech/Twitter)

PORT SHELDON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Ottawa County welcomed a sign of spring Wednesday, as the Port Sheldon buoy camera returned to Lake Michigan.

Crews with LimnoTech deployed the buoy cam Wednesday morning, after pulling it from the water before winter set in.

About 25 buoy cams float in the Great Lakes, monitoring conditions including wind speed, wake heights and water temperatures. They play an important role for the community, especially boaters.

“Just one guy this morning in South Haven said that the buoy saves him trips to the lake. He doesn’t live on the lake, so he uses the buoy to check conditions. He checks the buoy before getting out of bed in the morning; it saves a lot of time.

“It’s also a safety thing. NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) uses it to forecast better… to have eyes on the water and what’s going on,” explained LimnoTech project engineer Ed Verhamme.

The buoy anchored off the shore of Port Sheldon is historically the most popular buoy in the entire Great Lakes. Its recordings, which are available online for free, were viewed 30,000 times last year after community donations helped pay for its late launch.