Ocean Sound and Impact of Noise
Resource Collection

Sound is critical for the survival of many marine animals because it is a primary means of communication, orientation and navigation, finding food, avoiding predators, and choosing mates. As such, human activities that produce sound underwater have the potential to negatively impact animals by reducing their ability to hear prey, predators, and each other. Explore a collection of NOAA lesson plans, webinars, web stories, videos and more to learn about noise in the ocean and NOAA’s efforts to monitor and understand underwater sound in the National Marine Sanctuary System.

a graphic depicting ships, animals, weather and earthwuakes creating noise in the ocean


Learn why noise is important to marine organisms’ communication and survival and how ocean noise is changing due to human activity. Read to explore NOAA’s efforts to understand the effects of anthropogenic ocean noise on the marine ecosystems of the National Marine Sanctuary System.

dolphins leaping out of the water

Lesson Plans

Explore this collection of lesson plans for students to learn how marine animals communicate, the intricacies of sound, and how scientists monitor ocean noise. The lesson plans feature interactive activities and animal vocalizations recordings for engaged learning.

A diver swims with many fish swarming around them


Learn how sanctuary researchers and scientists track animals, such as giant seabass and humpback whales, through acoustics and passive acoustic monitoring to analyze sanctuary conditions and build sanctuary soundscapes.

A cliff runs along a rocky shoreline


Go behind the scenes of marine sanctuary fieldwork in this collection of videos showing scientists in action, monitoring and researching underwater noise, and working with the animals that can help them better understand marine ecosystems.

Fish swarm around a reef

Web Stories

National marine sanctuaries are home to acoustically active marine animals and scientists eager to understand the role and impacts of sound in the ocean today. Read up on the various efforts of NOAA’s SanctSound monitoring project, the sound-related research of NOAA Nancy Foster scholars, and the unique soundscapes of sanctuary sites.

a sunset over the ocean

Additional Materials

Can’t get enough of these ocean sound and impact of noise resources? Look here for engaging materials, like podcasts, marine animal audio recordings, story maps, and more from NOAA to become an ocean noise expert!