How can we reduce noise pollution in our seas?

Photo credit: Agustin Piñero

by Arline L. Bronzaft, Ph.D., Board of Directors, GrowNYC, Co-founder, The Quiet Coalition, and Honorary Chair, Quiet American Skies

Gabriella Sotelo’s article on highlights the adverse impact of ocean noises on the lives of marine animals, including microscopic zooplankton, fish and whales. Human-made noises can impede vocalization of whales, confuse and disrupt normal fish activities and reduce numbers of zooplankton, which provide food for marine life. The bottom line is that loud ships, construction, certain engineering techniques and military sonars can cause great harm to marine life.

What can we do to reduce noise pollution in our seas? This article suggests mandatory restrictions and monetary incentives. The article goes beyond suggesting that polluting companies take direct action and recommends that all individuals can help reduce ocean noise pollution. Each person can become more informed about ocean noise pollution and pass on this information to others. More knowledge can lead to action that reduces noise. Each one of us can minimize noise when we are on boats or doing other activities in the ocean. Everyone can assume an advocacy role in protecting marine life.

This article is one of many that are focused on noise pollution in our seas. Last week, the New York Times’ story about how a scarcity of Alaskan king salmon is affecting orcas, also mentions that “the constant drone of boat noise interferes with the whales’ echolocation and the ability to hunt.” I hope that our posts on noise pollution harming sea life serve as incentives to our readers to urge legislators to seek ways to lessen this detrimental pollutant in our waterways.


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