1. What does DBCP do?
  2. The Data Buoy Cooperation Panel (DBCP) was established in 1985 as a joint programme of the World Meteorological Organization and Intergovermental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO. It addresses the requirements and needs for real-time or archival data from buoys, both drifting and moored (coastal/national moored buoys, tropical moored buoys, and tsunami buoys), coordinates buoy deployments worldwide, promotes data sharing in agreed formats, and provides a forum for the exchange of technical and related information on buoy technology, communications systems and the applications of buoy data, to both operations and research. It was initially focused on drifting ocean data buoys, and in 1993 expanded its activities to encompass moored data buoys on the open ocean.

  3. Who’s who in DBCP?
  4. The DBCP is led by a chairperson and up to 7 executive board members representing 6 pillars of DBCP Strategy 2022-2027. The chair usually designates a vice chair from one existing member of DBCP executive board. All executive board members will serve maximum 2 consecutive two-year terms.
    More details here: https://www.ocean-ops.org/dbcp/community/contacts.html

    The DBCP is supported by Secretariats of the WMO and IOC and a full-time technical coordinator based in OceanOPS (Brest, France).

    Buoys are operated and maintained by DBCP members, countries appoint a national focal point to coordinate national activities. Action Groups coordinate at the regional and basin level. The DBCP established Task Teams to address thematic topics on buoy deployment and operation.

    Task Teams

    Action Groups

    • The DBCP-PICES North Pacific Data Buoy Advisory Panel (NPDBAP) (established by the DBCP and PICES in 2002)
    • The Surface Marine Programme of the Network of European Meteorological Services (E-SURFMAR) (joined as EGOS in 1987, then as E-SURFMAR in 2005)
    • The Global Drifter Programme (GDP) (joined in 1996)
    • The International Arctic Buoy Programme (IABP) (established by Panel in 1991)
    • The International Buoy Programme for the Indian Ocean (IBPIO) (established in Panel in 1996)
    • The International South Atlantic Buoy Programme (ISABP) (established by Panel in 1994)
    • The Tropical Moored Buoy Implementation Panel (TIP) (joined in 1998)
    • The WCRP-SCAR International Programme for Antarctic Buoys (IPAB) (joined in 1994)
    • The International Tsunameter Partnership (ITP) (joined in 2008)

  5. How to join DBCP?
  6. All interested colleagues are welcome to join the Data Buoy Cooperation Panel, and its task teams and action groups. You will find terms of references and more details of DBCP groups here. You can write to group leader(s) with a copy to Technical Coordinator to express your interest or any technical inquiries.

    Task TeamsLeaders
    TT-Data Management
    Lance Braasch (lance@ucsd.edu)
    Shaun Dolk (shaun.dolk@noaa.gov)

    TT-Moored Buoys
    Kenneth Connell (kenneth.connell@noaa.gov)

    TT-Wave Measurements
    Val Swail (val.swail@gmail.com)
    Robert Jensen (robert.e.jensen@usace.army.mil)

    TT-Capacity Building
    JIANG Qiu-Rachel (jlzxjq@163.com)

    TT-Environmental Stewardship
    Karen Grissom (karen.grissom@noaa.gov)

    TT-Data Buoy Best Practices and Technology Development
    Rick Lumpkin (rick.lumpkin@noaa.gov)

    TT-Data Value and Impact (to be formed)
    Marc Lucas (mlucas@groupcls.com)

  7. Where to find meeting reports and documents?
  8. To find meeting reports, please visit our Meetings page at https://www.ocean-ops.org/dbcp/community/meetings.html, where you can find a list of upcoming and past meetings.

    To access documents related to the DBCP community, please visit our Documents page at https://www.ocean-ops.org/dbcp/community/documents.html

  9. How to share data?
  10. All buoy operators are encouraged to share their data in agreed templates, especially the real time data to the WMO Global Telecommunication System (GTS) in BUFR formats.

    • BUFR template for representation of data from moored buoys (TM315008)
    • BUFR template for representation of data from drifting buoys (TM315009)
    • BUFR/CREX templates for tsunameter data and dart buoy system messages (TM306027)

    A full history of buoy data sharing mechanism can be found here:


  11. How to share metadata?
  12. Metadata is the information used to described observational data and ensure that data is understandable and truly useful. It was endorsed at former JCOMM-5 session that all marine metadata is maintained in OceanOPS. Full details for the new WMO ID allocation scheme is described in Guide to WMO Integrated Global Observing System (WMO-No.1165, 2019 edition, updated 2021) chapter 10.2.

    More details of all networks of the global ocean observing system can be found as follows:

    Drifting buoys:

    Moored buoys: