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Acoustics at BOEM: Newly Released Journal Focuses on Ocean Sound

The latest issue of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) science and technology journal—Ocean Science—highlight some of the Bureau’s efforts to understand and minimize the impacts of ocean noise.

Articles included in the ‘Acoustics at BOEM’ issue include:

  • Conducting and Applying Acoustics Research at BOEM
  • Using Acoustics as a Tool to Study Biological and Physical Phenomena in the Ocean
  • Verifying the Physical Qualities of Industrial Sound Sources
  • Understanding the Impacts of Noise on Marine Species
  • Keeping Up with the Latest Developments in Marine Acoustics
  • Spotlight on the BOEM Acoustics Team
  • New Waves: A Profile of the New OceanReports Tool

In his message introducing the journal, acting BOEM Director, Walter Cruickshank, wrote, “As human presence in the offshore environment has increased, so have the anthropogenic noise levels. Current science indicates that noise can adversely impact marine species’ abilities to communicate, navigate, and reproduce.

“However, understanding the potential impacts of anthropogenic noise on marine life is complex and there is some uncertainty in our current understanding of these effects. As a result, BOEM is driving original research to fill these knowledge gaps. Our scientists are not only measuring naturally occurring sounds, they are also examining the effects of human-produced noise and evaluating these effects in context with current laws and regulations. This will allow BOEM to make decisions that align with our environmental stewardship responsibilities and regulatory requirements.

“Balancing human activities with marine life protection is a difficult task. That’s why BOEM uses the best science available to approach management decisions. While debates on mitigation practices remain and the opinions on the best path forward are varied, BOEM remains steadfastly committed to funding and supporting the science necessary to better understand anthropogenic sounds and their effects on marine life.”

BOEM funds on average $30 million per year for scientific studies in the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic, the Pacific, and the Arctic. Data gained from these studies inform policy decisions regarding offshore oil, natural gas and renewable energy development. The information is also used by other federal and state agencies in decision-making and by members of academia and experts in the private sector. BOEM is one of the leading contributors to the body of scientific knowledge about the nation’s marine and coastal environments.

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