July 22, 1999 The Office of Naval Research (ONR) Marine Mammal Science Program has released the "Proceedings of the Workshop on the Effects of Anthropogenic Noise in the Marine Environment," a 140-page report on the potential biological effects of underwater noise. Compiled by 37 of the world's top experts in underwater acoustics and the biology of hearing, the report addresses the topics ocean (physical) acoustics, non-hearing physiological effects of sound, hearing, behavior, and monitoring and mitigation of noise effects.
The Proceedings include a review of current scientific knowledge along with expert opinions about the areas in which information is most needed and in which there is a high probability of near-term success in obtaining more information.
Much of the current understanding of this subject comes from the ONR Environmental Quality program which studies the effects of underwater noise on the marine environment. Both the Natural Resources Defense Council in its recent report "Sounding the Depths: Supertankers, Sonar and the Rise of Undersea Noise" and the U.S. Marine Mammal Commission, in its annual report to Congress have commended ONR's program for the quality and volume of scientific research produced. Several ONR-funded researchers, including Dr. Darlene Ketten and Dr. Peter Tyack, both of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and Dr. Chris Clark of the Cornell University Bioacoustics Laboratory are widely consulted by both sides of the issue for their impartiality and scientific expertise honed under ONR sponsorship.
The "Proceedings from the Workshop on the Effects of Anthropogenic Noise in the Marine Environment" is available on the ONR website in pdf. format at http://www.onr.navy.mil/sci_tech/engineering/proceed.pdf
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