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View Diary: Overnight News Digest 01/04/2013 (23 comments)

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  •  Puget Sound Noise Pollution (10+ / 0-)

    Seattle Times: Noisy ships, ferries create racket below Puget Sound

    From above, Puget Sound's deep green waters may seem a largely silent place — a hushed world of swimming fish and burrowing clams interrupted only by lapping waves, singing whales and the occasional sea lion's grunt.

    But recent work by University of Washington researchers shows the opposite. Instead, the Sound's waters are a whirring barrage of grinding engine noises, mostly from passing ships and ferries.

    This background noise in some shipping channels regularly meets or exceeds levels the federal government suggests may be harmful to marine life. But at the moment there is no easy way to significantly introduce a bit more quiet.

    "It is concerning that the noise levels are so high," said Marla Holt, a research biologist at Seattle's Northwest Fisheries Science Center. "When you see how often this happens and how chronic the noise exposure is, that's when you start to say, 'Wow.' "

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