Satellite Sentinel Sites

Large stretches of the 2300 km long South African coastline are not represented by the four Sentinel Sites. To improve our understanding of these regions, satellite sentinel sites will be developed along the West Coast (Namaqualand), South Coast (Mossel Bay), Wild Coast (Port St Johns) and North Coast (Sodwana Bay). These sites will be equipped with a Coastal Observation Mooring, similar to those that will be deployed in the Sentinel Sites. These moorings will consist of a surface buoy equipped with a weather station and sensory package to transmit the data from the in situ surface and underwater sensors to the Central Coordinating Unit. The sensor package associated with the mooring will include an Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) on the seafloor (to measure current speed and direction as well as swell), a pCO2 and pH sensor near the surface (to measure ocean acidification), a Conductivity/ Temperature /Depth (CTD) instrument attached to a profiler, a cabled acoustic telemetry receiving station (to record tagged marine species) and underwater temperature recorders (UTRs). The data will be rendered on a website in near real-time and will be accessible to the public. These moorings will, in addition to their scientific value, provide important data to improve marine forecasting, early warning systems, risk and vulnerability studies and marine safety.