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Thawing ice allows re-deploying of Great Lakes data buoys

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — As ice thaws around the Great Lakes, technicians are preparing to re-deploy buoys that gather a wealth of information for use in research, water safety efforts and recreation.

About a dozen research institutions operate buoys in the lakes. Many of them provide data to the nonprofit Great Lakes Observing System, which publishes the information online.

Its website offers real-time data from the buoys, which are returned to the water as soon as harbors and boat launches are free of ice.

It can help boaters and anglers avoid dangerous conditions, and scientists can get material for computer models that predict weather and other lake characteristics.

Ed Verhamme of the Ann Arbor-based engineering firm LimnoTech says spring can be a particularly hazardous season, as conditions are often rough and change quickly.

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