Swarms of autonomous surface vehicles equipped with environmental sensors and decentralized communications bring a new wave of attractive possibilities for the monitoring of dynamic features in oceans and other waterbodies. However, a key challenge in swarm robotics design is the efficient collective operation of heterogeneous systems. We present both theoretical analysis and field experiments on the responsiveness in dynamic area coverage of a collective of 22 autonomous buoys, where 4 units are upgraded to a new design that allows them to move 80\% faster than the rest. This system is able to react on timescales of the minute to changes in areas on the order of a few thousand square meters. We have observed that this partial upgrade of the system significantly increases its average responsiveness, without necessarily improving the spatial uniformity of the deployment. These experiments show that the autonomous buoy designs and the cooperative control rule described in this work provide an efficient, flexible, and scalable solution for the pervasive and persistent monitoring of water environments.