Sound Monitoring

NOAA and the U.S. Navy are working to better understand underwater sound within the National Marine Sanctuary System. For the next few years, these agencies will work with numerous scientific partners to study sound within seven national marine sanctuaries and one marine national monument, which includes waters off Hawai‘i and the east and west coasts. Standardized measurements will assess sounds produced by marine animals, physical processes (e.g., wind and waves), and human activities. Collectively, this information will help NOAA and the Navy measure sound levels and baseline acoustic conditions in sanctuaries. This work is a continuation of ongoing Navy and NOAA monitoring and research, including efforts by NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries.

maps highlighting the locations of sound monitoring: Stellwagen Bank, Gray's Reef, Florida Keys, Olympic Coast, Monterey Bay, Channel Islands, Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale  and Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument
Monitoring will take place in Stellwagen Bank, Gray's Reef, and Florida Keys national marine sanctuaries (East Coast); Olympic Coast, Monterey Bay, and Channel Islands national marine sanctuaries (West Coast); and Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary and Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument (Pacific Islands Region). Maps: NOAA
fish swimming around a hydrophone on the seafloor
diver mesuring sound near the seafloor

Underwater recorders, known as "hydrophones," are deployed near the seafloor for months to years at a time. Shallow locations are maintained by divers, while deeper locations contain "acoustic releases" that can be triggered with a signal to send the equipment back to the surface for retrieval. Photos: Peter Auster/University of Connecticut; Paul Caiger and John Atkins/Ocean Instruments LTD

Agency contacts and partners

noaa logo

Leila Hatch, Ph.D.
Marine ecologist
NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries
Leila.Hatch@noaa.gov

navy seal

Danielle Kitchen
U.S. Navy
Chief of Naval Operations, Energy & Environmental Readiness Division (N45)
Danielle.kitchen@navy.mil

Project partners

NOAA Fisheries
NOAA NCEI
NOAA IOOS
Naval Postgraduate School
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Scripps Institution of Oceanography
MBARI
Moss Landing
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
North Carolina State University
Skidaway Institute of Oceanography University of Georgia
U.S. National Parks Service Natural Sounds and Night Skies
University of Hawaii
SEA Inc