Rutgers’ underwater gliders keep a watchful eye on NJ’s water quality

Thousands of New Jersey residents will soon head out to the beach as summer quickly approaches.

News 12 Staff

May 21, 2019, 11:56 PM

Updated 1,831 days ago

Share:

Thousands of New Jersey residents will soon head out to the beach as summer quickly approaches.
But how can they be sure that the ocean water they are swimming in is clean and safe? Cue a piece of equipment from Rutgers University. Rutgers and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection have been teaming up for years to monitor New Jersey’s oceans using underwater gliders.
“It’s a water quality mission. So, these gliders are equipped with sensors that measure everything from temperatures, to the salinity of the water, to more specific water-quality issues like how much dissolved oxygen is in the ocean,” says Rutgers Marine and Coastal Sciences professor Josh Kohut.
The gliders are programmed for missions that usually last about two hours. They are completely autonomous and have to rely on ocean currents to move.
“When they sit at the surface, instead of turning on a propeller and diving, they’ll acutely pull seawater into the nose,” Kohut says.
The glider monitoring station at Rutgers Cook Campus looks similar to NASA's mission control. Several large paneled screens show all the data collected by the gliders, such as current direction, water temperature and depth – as well as storm surge, a very important factor during hurricanes.
“We can use these robots to protect our coastline and understand what the ocean is going to do for storm intensity in the future,” says Kohut.
Officials say that the gliders have become more involved in weather prediction ever since Superstorm Sandy.


More from News 12
0:19
Officials: 12-year-old from Fort Lee dies

Officials: 12-year-old from Fort Lee dies

2:19
STORM WATCH: Mix of sun and clouds Sunday in New Jersey; rain and thunder on Memorial Day

STORM WATCH: Mix of sun and clouds Sunday in New Jersey; rain and thunder on Memorial Day

2:54
Perth Amboy Fire Department offers grilling safety tips for the summer season

Perth Amboy Fire Department offers grilling safety tips for the summer season

0:27
Police: 26-year-old motorcyclist killed in Englewood crash

Police: 26-year-old motorcyclist killed in Englewood crash

Guide: 2024 Memorial Day Parades in New Jersey

Guide: 2024 Memorial Day Parades in New Jersey

1:47
More than the Shore: New Jersey celebrates Memorial Day weekend in Hoboken

More than the Shore: New Jersey celebrates Memorial Day weekend in Hoboken

1:45
Beachgoers pack the Jersey Shore to mark unofficial start of summer

Beachgoers pack the Jersey Shore to mark unofficial start of summer

1:11
Thousands participate in 46th annual Spring Lake 5-mile run

Thousands participate in 46th annual Spring Lake 5-mile run

Dolphin stuck in NJ creek dies after ‘last resort’ rescue attempt, officials say

Dolphin stuck in NJ creek dies after ‘last resort’ rescue attempt, officials say

2:08
Blood test that detects colon cancer close to receiving FDA approval

Blood test that detects colon cancer close to receiving FDA approval

1:34
'This is unbelievable traffic.’ Memorial Day travelers share road trip blues

'This is unbelievable traffic.’ Memorial Day travelers share road trip blues

0:18
Prosecutor: Man accused of killing man in Roselle park turns himself in

Prosecutor: Man accused of killing man in Roselle park turns himself in

2:50
Police: 1 person injured in explosion at Sayreville power station; hundreds without power

Police: 1 person injured in explosion at Sayreville power station; hundreds without power

0:24
Newark man convicted of robbing poker player in Atlantic City

Newark man convicted of robbing poker player in Atlantic City

1:34
Fire at commercial building in Secaucus sends plumes of smoke into the air

Fire at commercial building in Secaucus sends plumes of smoke into the air

0:51
Jersey Proud: Ashley Lauren Foundation helps provide pool to boy with brain cancer

Jersey Proud: Ashley Lauren Foundation helps provide pool to boy with brain cancer

0:44
Gov. Murphy announces $100M Boardwalk Preservation Fund for the Jersey Shore

Gov. Murphy announces $100M Boardwalk Preservation Fund for the Jersey Shore

2:10
Jersey Shore business owners hope for successful Memorial Day, despite Route 71 bridge repairs

Jersey Shore business owners hope for successful Memorial Day, despite Route 71 bridge repairs

2:07
‘It was like a nightmare. Very scary.’ Thursday’s severe storm creates chaos for West Milford residents

‘It was like a nightmare. Very scary.’ Thursday’s severe storm creates chaos for West Milford residents

6:13
EXCLUSIVE: Donald Trump one-on-one interview with News 12

EXCLUSIVE: Donald Trump one-on-one interview with News 12