The interdisciplinary field of assessing the impacts of sound on marine life has benefited largely from the advancement of underwater acoustics that occurred after World War II. Acoustic parameters widely used in underwater acoustics were redefined to quantify sound levels relevant to animal audiometric variables, both at the source and receiver. The fundamental approach for assessing the impacts of sound uses a source-pathway-receiver model based on the one-way sonar equation, and most numerical sound propagation models can be used to predict received levels at marine animals that are potentially exposed. However, significant information gaps still exist in terms of sound source characterization and propagation that are strongly coupled with the type and layering of the underlying substrate(s). Additional challenges include the lack of easy-to-use propagation models and animal-specific statistical detection models, as well as a lack of adequate training of regulatory entities in underwater acoustics.