Problem: BOEM’s ability to accurately assess the potential impacts from offshore renewable energy development on protected species, as required by the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) and Endangered Species Act (ESA), is restricted by a lack of ambient soundscape and seasonal cetacean habitat use data.
Intervention: Collect and analyze passive acoustic data in the California Current Ecosystem to gain comprehensive spatial and temporal insight into the occurrence and distribution of protected cetacean species, while simultaneously collecting ambient soundscape data.
Comparison: This data would complement and advance our existing knowledge and provide the foundation for any effects analysis of future operational monitoring data. This data can also be compared to data collected by the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA’s) Ocean Noise Reference stations in the Olympic Coast and Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuaries.
Outcome: Description of the spatial and temporal occurrence of cetacean species and ambient soundscapes in the California Current Ecosystem.