The Consortium for Ocean Leadership held a workshop in October on Sound In The Sea: Building A Cross-Sector Consensus On Gaps In Science. Cynthia Pyć, Senior Manager of Environmental Science & Sustainability at JASCO Applied Sciences, was invited as an independent panelist. JASCO also provided major sponsorship of the event, which brought together a diverse group of delegates form the USA and Canada.
The Consortium had acknowledged in a press release that bringing together people with disparate views on controversial topics could be a challenge, yet their workshop did just that, gathering a diverse group of more than 100 stakeholders to hold a constructive and balanced conversation around the topic of Sound in the Sea. The forum was structured as sessions of panel-led discussions where each panelist started with just a brief presentation to ensure the majority of time was open for questions and dialogue among the participating representatives from academia, oil and gas companies, technological groups, environmental non-profit organizations, the US Navy, federal agencies, and more.
Ms Pyć spoke on the session topic of Measuring the Ocean Acoustic Environment, pointing out that “technology availability isn’t the key challenge when it comes to measuring the acoustic environment. And there is no shortage of good research ideas. The challenges are related to establishing a common understanding and prioritization of the science needs in this space and encouraging stakeholders to commit the budget and human resources needed to collect long-term data, over broad spatial areas.”
Another panel discussed the future ocean workforce that centered on what industry, government, and universities can do to produce geoscience graduates who are better prepared to enter the ocean sector professional scene. The final panel focused on resolving conflict and building consensus to develop specific recommendations to help oceans be healthy and productive for all.
“This is not a new issue, but it’s a very important one,” Consortium President and CEO Rear Admiral (Ret.) Jon White stated. “As we increase activities in, on, and around the ocean, noise will also increase, and we must consider the implications of these activities. I am pleased with the progress we made in teasing out specific steps and actions to move forward and do good for both the ocean and industry that prospers from a healthy and productive ocean. I look forward to continuing this dialogue with these and other partners to inform science-based decision making around sound in the sea.”
Recommendations from the group will be released soon.