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"Some people talk to animals. Not many listen though. That's the problem."

-A.A. Milne

NOAA's Ocean Noise Reference Stations (NRS)

NRS buoy
NRS buoy deployed on the R/V Auk
NOAA's Ocean Acoustics Program recently funded a United States EEZ-wide effort to start recording low-frequency passive acoustic sounds now and into the future. The aim of this project is to compare sites from widely different regions to determine biological and man-made noise levels using the same type of recording equipment. Comparisons will also be made over the long term to monitor how the 'soundscapes' at each of these sites changes, i.e. does it become noisier, are there more or less biological sounds, and is there a dramatic shift in the species present? The Ocean Noise Reference Station Network (NRS) project currently involves a coordinated deployment of 10 NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory (PMEL) low-frequency (10-2500Hz) passive acoustic recorders in U.S. waters.
Map of NRS locations
Locations of Noise Reference Stations
(Map: Mike Thompson, NOAA/SBNMS)

Of these 10 NRS recorders, 3 are within National Marine Sanctuaries and 2, NRS 08 and NRS 09, are part of our NEFSC passive acoustic research program. Read more about this project and the results coming from it in NOAA's Story Map: Listening to the Sea.

Partners: NOAA Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, NOAA NMFS Science Centers, NOAA Ocean Acoustics Program, Oregon State University, Cornell University, NOAA PMEL, National Park Service

Primary Funders: NOAA Ocean Acoustics Program, National Park Service

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