Arthur Clever Buoy Pilot Cape Cod, MA Summer 2019

Thank You, Refund, and Reorganization
On behalf of the CCOC, THANK YOU to all who have donated to support The Arthur Clever Buoy Pilot for Summer 2019. We are deeply grateful for your support, and we hope to honor your support going forward. As mentioned below, our donation deadline on GoFundMe was April 8, 2019. After continued conversations with representatives of various local, state, and federal governmental agencies, it has become clear approval of The Arthur Clever Buoy Pilot in time for Summer 2019 is extremely unlikely. Thus, as promised, the CCOC will refund all donations through GoFundMe effective immediately, though please note it will take 3-7 business days for refunds to return your card.

The CCOC has decided to reorganize for the journey ahead. Going forward, the CCOC will be a formal, non-profit organization through which the public may raise awareness and funds to encourage and support the implementation of white shark safety measures, and especially proactive detection and surveillance safety measures powered by technology, for ocean recreation on Cape Cod.

We are excited to be refocusing and reenergizing in a way that will help put Clever Buoy, and other forms of surveillance and detection technology, in the water on the Outer Cape as soon as possible. Our fundraising and your donations on GoFundMe brought awareness to the issues at hand, so please know this was in no way a wasted effort. With the CCOC as a formal, non-profit organization, we can move forward with more flexibility, raising funds that can be used for surveillance and detection technology now or later---in 2019 or 2020. We hope you will consider redirecting your GoFundMe donation to the CCOC now or later. Please visit our work-in-progress website at for more information.

As a kick-off to fundraising for the CCOC going forward, please join us and the Rock Harbor Band this SATURDAY, APRIL 20TH from 6:30-9:30 p.m. at The Well Tavern + Kitchen in the Sail Loft Room---70 Main St. Wellfleet, MA 02667. Tickets are $20 at the door. We look forward to seeing you this Saturday or at additional fundraising events this spring and summer. Thank you again for your support!

The donation deadline for The Arthur Clever Buoy Pilot on GoFundMe has been updated to April 8, 2019.

We are currently in conversations with potential funding partners for Outer Cape locations other than Wellfleet. With partner funding, The Arthur Clever Buoy Pilot is within reach, and again, we are supportive of the pilot study wherever it is approved on the Outer Cape. 

Please donate today! Every dollar counts and may be the difference for Summer 2019!


Cape Cod has a shark problem. Through research completed by the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy, Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries, and OCEARCH, we know much more about white sharks than ever before. Around Cape Cod, the white shark population is increasing significantly every year. It spikes during the summer months, coinciding with the peak months for recreation and tourism. In search of food such as seals, white sharks in Cape Cod spend much of their time in less than 15 feet of water, frequenting beaches, bays, and harbors throughout the Cape, Islands, and nearby Massachusetts coastlines. Cape Cod is a global white shark hotspot---a conservation success story with unintended consequences. 

Public Safety
White sharks occasionally mistake humans for seals. The past two summers, the white shark presence on the outer beaches of Cape Cod was undeniable. Over a thirteen-month period, those beaches recorded three attacks, several encounters, and hundreds of sightings. One of the attacks resulted in serious injury and another resulted in the death of 26-year-old ocean-enthusiast Arthur Medici. According to the researchers and experts, this is only the beginning. Unless something changes, shark attacks will continue to grow in number, and spending time in the ocean will continue to become more dangerous. The map below shows reported shark alerts from July through September 2018. Can we not do more for Summer 2019, before it is too late?


Economic Impact
We know from experience around the world that an increasing frequency of shark interactions has a severe negative impact on local economies. Shark fears, sightings, and encounters result in people choosing to spend their time and money elsewhere. We may already be seeing this on Cape Cod. As the chart below shows, the number of Cape Cod National Seashore annual visitors dropped by 750,000 from 2016 to 2018. Even if the average visitor spends only $100 per visit, the economic impact of this drop is $75 million per year.  Again, can we not do more for Summer 2019, before it is too late?


Our Response
Cape Cod is a community dependent upon recreating and working in and around the ocean. We believe we can and must do more now, before it is too late. 

We are on a mission to promote and fund a Summer 2019 pilot or test study of Clever Buoy:

Clever Buoy is a real-time monitoring platform that uses technology to detect and alert of the potential presence of both tagged and untagged sharks. It is non-invasive to the environment and also collects real-time scientific data on a wide range of environmental parameters, including water quality and other forms of marine life like seals. To learn more about Clever Buoy, click here.

Clever Buoy was successfully piloted in Newport Beach, CA this past fall. Click here to read an LA Times article about the Newport Beach pilot, which was approved by the CA state and local governing authorities.

The Arthur Clever Buoy Pilot 
In Arthur Medici's memory, we have named this project The Arthur Clever Buoy Pilot. Clever Buoy may have saved Arthur's life had it been installed at Newcomb Hollow Beach on September 15, 2018. We cannot bring Arthur back, but we can use his memory to take action.

All donations will be used to fund The Arthur Clever Buoy Pilot in Cape Cod, MA for Summer 2019. Currently, the objective is to deploy two buoys for three months on Newcomb Hollow Beach, but we intend to remain flexible on the location of the pilot, if there are challenges in the approval process. If The Arthur Clever Buoy Pilot does not come to fruition on Cape Cod during Summer 2019, all donations will be returned. 

Please donate today.


Recent News Articles

Rise in shark population off Cape Cod sparks safety concerns for this summer (WCVB5)

Consensus lacking on strategies to prevent Cape shark attacks (The Boston Globe)

Wellfleet town counsel’s advice on shark peril: ‘Do nothing’  (Wicked Local)

After fatal shark attack, some complain of slow response  (The Associated Press/The Washington Post)

Shark population growing off Cape Cod spurs ‘nightmares’ for researcher  (Fox News)

Frequently Asked Questions

How is the Clever Buoy powered?

Clever Buoy is powered using a combination of solar power and lithium ion batteries.

How does Clever Buoy connect to the internet?

Clever Buoy can use either cellular or satellite telecommunications networks to connect to the internet.

Does Clever Buoy require human monitoring?

No. Clever Buoy operates autonomously 24 hours a day 7 days a week. A real-time alarm system can be placed on the buoy itself to alert beachgoers of identification of a potential shark in the monitored area. Additionally, alerts are sent to a dedicated mobile application.

How large of area does a buoy monitor?

Each buoy covers roughly 250 yards of coastline.

How does Clever Buoy identify sharks?

The Clever Buoy algorithm identifies sharks based on their swim movement patterns picked up by the Clever Buoy sonar. For marine life, swim pattern is a unique identifier.

What is the accuracy rate of Clever Buoy in identifying sharks?

Analysis of previous deployments in Australia and California indicates Clever Buoy correctly identifies sharks approximately 80% of the time. The remaining 20% of the time, Clever Buoy gives a false positive alert on similarly large marine life or objects, such as a large swarm of fish. The sensitivity of the Clever Buoy algorithm is intentionally set to be conservative, so it errors on the side of a caution---a false positive identification, rather than a false negative identification. Because the Clever Buoy software is based on an algorithm, it continues to improve over time, and it is expected it will continue to increase in accuracy. 

How many sharks did Clever Buoy detect during previous deployments?

Clever Buoy alerted for 60 potential sharks over the 100 day pilot in Newport Beach, CA. Of those 60 alerts, 44 occurred during lifeguard hours. At City Beach in Western Australia, Clever Buoy alerted for 27 potential sharks during a 90-day deployment. At Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia, Clever Buoy alerted for 33 potential sharks during a 60-day deployment.

Could we have more meetings and do more research on shark technologies?

Absolutely, but we cannot let perfect be the enemy of good. Technology has the potential to mitigate risk without being perfect. Is the possibility of detection and contribution to research not better than the alternative? Waiting comes with the risk of losing another life on Cape Cod and then asking ourselves if we could have done more sooner. Additionally, it is feasible to simultaneously research and test technologies. Is testing not a requirement for thorough research of technology anyway?

Could we wait for shark technologies to improve before testing them?

Absolutely, but again, we cannot let perfect be the enemy of good. Though not perfect, the technologies are useful today and will continue to improve while being tested. 

Does Clever Buoy cost millions of dollars?

No. The Arthur Clever Buoy Pilot is expected to cost around $200,000, or roughly $30,000-$35,000 per buoy per month. The most significant costs of the pilot are associated with approval, installation, monitoring, and removal of the Clever Buoy system. Should the pilot result in a permanent installation in the future, the run-rate Clever Buoy cost would be significantly lower, because the significant installation and removal costs are one-time costs.


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Fundraising team: Cape Cod Ocean Community (3) 

Ashley Penn 
Wellfleet, MA

Heather Lewis Doyle 
Team member
Craig Anderson 
Team member
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