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Radio News: NOAA considers a plan for underwater noise

Jun 07, 2016 11:04 pm
The New York Times reports that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is asking for public comment through July 1 for the Ocean Noise Strategy Roadmap draft, a 10-year plan to quiet man-made noise in the oceans. Sonar, military tests, shipping, energy drilling all make the oceans a very noisy place, especially since sound travels so much better in water than through air. The barrage of sound underwater needs further studies, as anecdotal evidence is not good. Oceanic scientists have observed, off the coast of Massachusetts, that many whales no longer seem to hear the sounds of ships, and do not always move out of the way. Michael Jasny, from the Natural Resources Defense Council, said he is disappointed that the plan is vague and lacks a schedule. But the good news, he says, is unlike other forms of pollution, “Once you stop making noise, it goes away.”