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Christin Khan, NOAA/NMFS/NEFSC

NOAA and US Navy launch new web portal for SanctSound


26th April 2022 –  NOAA and the U.S. Navy are pleased to announce the launch of a new web portal for the Sanctuary Soundscape Monitoring Project, or SanctSound. The portal allows the public to listen to underwater sounds and learn more about how sound monitoring can be an important tool in the protection of national marine sanctuaries.

This portal is a product of a three-year project involving over 50 scientists from 23 institutions. During this groundbreaking effort, researchers from NOAA and our partners collected and analyzed underwater recordings from seven sites across the National Marine Sanctuary System.

Underwater recorders, known as “hydrophones,” are deployed near the seafloor for months to years at a time. Shallow locations are maintained by divers, while deeper locations contain “acoustic releases” that can be triggered with a signal to send the equipment back to the surface for retrieval.Photos: Peter Auster/University of Connecticut; Paul Caiger and John Atkins/Ocean Instruments LTD

Underwater sound monitoring is already helping NOAA better manage these special places in the ocean; for example, these data have helped us better understand prevalence of large marine mammals in Stellwagen Bank, characterize visitor use in Gray’s Reef, and assess fish abundance in the Florida Keys.

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Monitoring is taking place in Stellwagen Bank, Gray's Reef, and Florida Keys national marine sanctuaries (East Coast); Olympic Coast, Monterey Bay, and Channel Islands national marine sanctuaries (West Coast); and Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary and Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument (Pacific Islands Region). Maps: NOAA
Featured image: Christin Khan, NOAA/NMFS/NEFSC
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