A new programme launched by the Port of Vancouver is seeking to explore the auditory effects that vessels have on a marine environment. The project is known as the ‘ECHO Program’ and will consist of a number of experiments related to underwater noise.
The port says that the ECHO programme is part of a commitment to ensure that its operations adhere to environmental standards, as well as reflecting a pledge to secure long-term sustainability. For these procedures, the port has brought in a team of technical acoustic experts to help guide their goals and intended outcomes. Another major aspect of the ECHO project is to promote the safety of local marine life.
The project is undertaking a series of important methodical projects. One of these is the decision to deploy an underwater noise listening station in the Strait of Georgia. The station is a partnership between Transport Canada, Jasco Applied Science and Ocean Networks. The subaquatic base works by monitoring noise levels as ships weigh in as they transit above.
Other features of the programme include monitoring baseline ambient noise through hydrophones, measuring regional noise contributions from various vessel sectors and studying the effects of vessel noise disturbances on humpback whales. ECHO also plan to gather their findings and present them to local marines in an educational manner.
By aiming to reduce noise in the region, the ECHO project reflects the industries desire to monitor its effects on the environment. This may well result in new innovations for the development of quieter vessels and the application of green vessel technology.