Sound Monitoring Project Background

This research results from a settlement agreement regarding the Navy's use of low frequency active sonar and impacts to marine mammals. The settlement agreement supports four topics linked to implementation of NOAA's Ocean Noise Strategy. NOAA and the Navy agreed to:

  • Deployment of calibrated passive acoustic recording devices in national marine sanctuaries and other protected species high-risk areas in U.S. water chosen to provide meaningful coverage in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans;
  • Holistic sampling of the soundscape in a way (in space, time, and frequency) that is appropriate to the specific types of sound sources of each monitored sanctuary or high-risk area, including anthropogenic sound sources, natural abiotic sound sources, and biological sound sources relevant to each site;
  • Further development of metrics to characterize and compare soundscape components among measured sites;
  • Archiving of data within federal, publicly accessible, passive acoustic data archives at the National Centers for Environmental Information;
  • Integration of acoustic metrics with other data used to characterize habitat condition and species presence, as well as human activity levels, in proximity to recording locations;
  • Supporting NOAA's integration of acoustic habitat characterization information within federal management and constituent forums.

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