Page 33 - July2017

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JULY 2017 |
GALVESTON MONTHLY |
33
iSLAND lIFE |
bEACHCOMBING
M a r i n e T r a c k i n g D e v i c e s
Katherine Pollock
W
hen scouring the shoreline for treasures,
beachcombers are never limited to just shells.
Some beachcombers even have a specialty,
and with their finds create expansive,
intriguing collections. One of the specific categories that
is a special find for any beach hunter is marine tracking
devices—several different kinds of these devices exist,
but they are all used to track data for ocean currents, and
often the beachcomber is a key component to completing
the course for these studies.
Drift Cards
Drift cards are the most common tracking device found on the
beach. They are typically made of plywood, measure three by five
inches, and are painted a bright color so they can be easily spotted
on the beach. Sometimes, instructions are printed on them in
multiple languages.
The drift card featured in the photograph was used by Texas A &M
University-Galveston to track ocean currents in order to better
understand the path that an oil spill would take if it occurred in the
water. British Petroleum (BP) sponsored the drift cards project, and
G
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Drift cards, with instructions in English and Spanish