Mariners ranging from the operators of small boats to captains of large cargo carriers and cruise ships at Port Everglades will now be able to get information in real-time on tides, currents, water levels, wind speed and other metrological information online or by phone.

Leaders at the port celebrated the installation of the Port Everglades Physical Oceanographic Real-Time System (PORTS), an advanced sensor device developed and installed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Glenn Wiltshire, Port Everglades Deputy Port Director said the new system will make it easier and safer for large ships to navigate in and around the port because they will have better and more up-to-date information on weather, wind speed, and water level.

“Boaters and commercial mariners will be able to make safer choices based on the data from this device because it gives real-time information and forecasts,” said Wiltshire. “Before this equipment went into service, mariners had to rely on data for Lake Worth in Palm Beach County or from Virginia Key in Miami to estimate conditions here.”

Rich Edwing, director of NOAA’s Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services is pleased with the new device. “Port Everglades PORTS will give vessel operators the tide and weather information they need to help them navigate these waters more safely and efficiently. This is a win for the port, the surrounding communities, and every business and industry that depends on these cruise and cargo ships.”

Broward County Commissioner Chip LaMarca said, “Having real-time tide, water level, and other metrological information all online or via a toll-free phone number is truly an asset we can all enjoy.” He added, “This equipment is collecting data about our natural resources that we can apply to preparation for storms, climate changes, and sea level rise.”