Phase 2 — NOAA's Ocean Noise Strategy
What is the purpose of the Strategy?
The development of a NOAA-wide, forward looking Ocean Noise Strategy began following CetSound (Phase 1).
The purpose is to articulate NOAA’s vision for addressing ocean noise impacts over the next 10 years and guide science and management actions towards that vision.
NOAA's 10 year Strategy
Successful implementation of the Strategy would achieve four overarching goals:
- SCIENCE: NOAA and federal partners are filling shared critical knowledge gaps and building understanding of noise impacts over ecologically-relevant scales.
- MANAGEMENT: NOAA’s actions are integrated across the agency and minimizing the acute, chronic and cumulative effects of noise on marine species and their habitat.
- DECISION SUPPORT TOOLS: NOAA is developing publically available tools for assessment, planning and mitigation of noise-making activities over ecologically-relevant scales.
- OUTREACH: NOAA is educating the public on noise impacts, engaging with stakeholders & coordinating with related efforts internationally.
What is NOAA doing now?
NOAA's Strategy efforts include:
- Developing cross-agency Strategy implementation plans, in the form of contributions to the NOAA Ocean Noise Work Plan, to be updated and reported on biannually.
- Final release of the Strategy's Roadmap, developed by a NOAA-wide team, to guide science planning, prioritization, and management decisions.
- Maintaining a NOAA coordinated network of acoustic monitoring sensors throughout the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
- Further implementing a long-term passive acoustic data archive to be housed at the National Centers for Environmental Information.
- Co-chairing the Subcommittee on Ocean Science and Technology (SOST) Interagency Task Force on Ocean Noise and Marine Life.
- Sponsoring a Population Consequences of Disturbance workshop (April, 2016) to assess potential impacts of noise on Cook Inlet Belugas
- Supporting the adoption of voluntary guidelines to quiet commercial vessels by the International Maritime Organization.
- Developing and maintaining mapping tools to support planning, risk assessment, science prioritization, and management decisions.
- Co-chairing the International Underwater Sound field Mapping Meeting.
- Working with Duke University's Marine Geospatial Ecology Lab on new cetacean habitat density models for the U.S. East coast and Gulf of Mexico, and to produce publications identifying Biologically Important Areas.
- Conducting and further developing outreach and education on ocean noise and NOAA’s goals for reducing its impacts (e.g. Managing Noise in MPA's webinar, Marine Mammal Commission Presentation).