Now hear this: ‘Sonic Sea’ on ocean noise is tonight in Environmental Film Series

Today, there’s more than just the sound of waves and whales in the ocean. There’s tremendous underwater noise from shipping, oil and gas exploration, and naval sonar training, and it’s causing stress, deafness and even death in marine animals, especially whales and dolphins, which have sensitive hearing.

The next screening in Ohio State’s 2017 Environmental Film Series, “Sonic Sea,” looks at that problem and at cooperative efforts — involving scientists, industry, the navies of nations and others — to solve it. It shows at 7 p.m. tonight — Monday, Nov. 13 — in Room 130 in the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and Chemistry (CBEC) Building on Ohio State’s Columbus campus. Admission is free and open to the public; free pizza and beverages at 6:45 p.m.

Threat to a ‘fragile world’

“Sound is essential to the survival and prosperity of marine life,” the film’s website says. “But man-made ocean noise is threatening this fragile world.” The film, which won two 2017 documentary Emmy awards, is about “protecting life in our waters from the destructive effects of oceanic noise pollution.”

A review on The Conversation website said “Sonic Sea” asks viewers, “ ‘What would the world look like if we don’t reduce our impacts?’ It raises the question of sustainability and the legacy we will leave for future generations once we are gone.”


Patrick Ramage, marine conservation program director and global whale program director with the International Fund for Animal Welfare, and Ohio State’s Rick Livingston, interim director of the Humanities Institute and senior lecturer in Comparative Studies, will lead a discussion after the screening.


The Environmental Professionals Network, a service of CFAES’s School of Environment and Natural Resources, and Ohio State’s Office of Energy and Environment are the co-sponsors of the series, which runs six consecutive Mondays through Nov. 20. Wrapping up the series is “From the Ashes” on Nov. 20.

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