There is a variety of purposes for buoys. One main one is to monitor ocean currents, ocean levels and weather in the area a buoy is located. They can also warn ships of reefs or other hazards. Provided below is a chart of NOAA’s buoys.
Another purpose of buoys is to measure wave heights and wave energy, and monitor these changes over time. An example is the Coastal Data Information Program run by the Scripps Institute in California. This system of nearshore buoys provides multiple types of data on wave motion and sea changes.
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