The final report from the U.S. federal government's Interagency Task Force on Anthropogenic Sound and the Marine Environment, Addressing the Effects of Human-Generated Sound on Marine Life: An Integrated Research Plan for U.S. Federal Agencies, is now available. The report's direct link is http://ocean.ceq.gov/about/docs/iatf_finalreport_09.pdf
The suggested reference for this report is:
Southall, B., Berkson, J., Bowen, D., Brake, R., Eckman, J., Field, J., Gisiner, R., Gregerson, S., Lang, W., Lewandoski, J., Wilson, J., and Winokur, R. 2009. Addressing the Effects of Human-Generated Sound on Marine Life: An Integrated Research Plan for U.S. federal agencies. Interagency Task Force on Anthropogenic Sound and the Marine Environment of the Joint Subcommittee on Ocean Science and Technology. Washington, DC.
The following overview is from the cover letter of the report, co-signed by the heads of the Council on Environmental Quality and the Office of Science and Technology Policy (Executive Office of the President of the United States of America):
"Whether and how human-generated sounds in the ocean affect marine life has become an issue of increasing awareness, within scientific and regulatory circles as well as among the general public. Many activities vital to our society, including the actions of many U.S. Federal agencies, introduce sound into the marine environment. Consequently, there is much interest and effort involved in understanding associated environmental impacts and developing ways of minimizing them. A number of U.S. Federal agencies are actively engaged in advancing the science and technologies needed to address these challenging issues.
This report provides an explicit interagency roadmap for the next decade to focus and prioritize research efforts addressing this issue. It summarizes collective research efforts by U.S. Federal agencies in several key areas and includes a number of specific and prioritized research recommendations regarding future efforts, with particular emphasis on interagency collaboration. Finally, it summarizes some general coordinating actions and means of increasing the transparency and public recognition of ongoing interagency efforts in this field. The findings indicate that many of the challenging scientific, regulatory, and legal issues regarding underwater sound can be addressed with focused, prioritized, and sustained effort coordinated among the U.S. Federal agencies. We hope it will be useful to a broad range of interested parties."
Thank you for your interest and help in ensuring that this document is as useful as possible in guiding future research efforts.