Webcams to collect coastal data, increase public safety
Currituck County will be one of the first U.S. coastal communities to participate in a project utilizing coastal web cameras for quantitative scientific analysis, public safety, and resource management for coastal municipalities. This project is funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) through a program called Webcams for Coastal Observations and Operational Support (WebCOOS).
Currituck County is partnering with Southeast Coastal Ocean Observing Regional Association (SECOORA), University of South Carolina, University of North Carolina Wilmington, University of California Santa Cruz, Axiom Data Science, NOAA (CO-OPS), U.S. Geological Survey, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to install new web cameras on the oceanfront in Corolla. Staff from the Emergency Management Department are representing the county in this project.
The two cameras will have integrated cutting-edge technology with scientific and public health applications. Collected data will be used to alert and inform residents, visitors, and scientists about flooding, beach usage, beach and surf zone conditions such as rip currents and coastal inundation, and water quality for swimmer safety. The system will use a combination of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) software to monitor, assess, and report on beach hazards and activities. Additionally, live beach footage from both cameras will be available to the public to view from their desktop and mobile devices.
The project is anticipated to launch in Spring 2022 and a special announcement will be made when the live feeds are ready for public viewing.