Chicago – Two high-tech buoys in Lake Michigan are helping experts study erosion and boaters follow lake conditions.

The Chicago Tribune reports that the buoys have been placed about one mile offshore from Waukegan Harbor and Winthrop Harbor’s North Point Marina. They are administered by the Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant and Great Lakes Observing System .

Officials say they’re providing the first real-time data on wind speed, wave height, water temperature and more. Webcams shoot hourly videos during daytime.

Scientists hope the buoys aid their research of coastal erosion. Sand naturally drifted south along the Lake Michigan shoreline and accumulated in the Indiana Dunes. Coastal development has disrupted that process and created spots of problematic erosion.

Boaters, beachgoers and fishermen benefit too from real-time lake conditions. Data are available online .

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