Turn Down the Volume

An Emmy-award winning documentary shows viewers how the underwater racket caused by human activities is destroying marine life.

The ocean is a world of sound, not sight. In the darkness of the sea, whales and other marine life depend on sound to mate, find food, migrate, raise their young, and defend against predators. Over the last century, however, loud noise from commercial ships, oil and gas exploration, naval sonar exercises, and other sources has rattled the ocean’s delicate acoustic habitat, challenging the ability of whales and other marine life to navigate, mate, find food, and simply survive.

To introduce this global problem to millions of people and build momentum for change, NRDC and Imaginary Forces—in association with the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and Diamond Docs—created the powerful documentary Sonic Sea. Narrated by the Oscar-nominated actress Rachel McAdams, the film features interviews with Grammy Award-winning musician, human rights and environmental activist Sting, as well as the renowned oceanographic explorers and educators Sylvia Earle and Jean-Michel Cousteau.

Sonic Sea won the Jury Award and the John de Graff Environmental Filmmaking award when it premiered at the Wild & Scenic Film Festival in January 2016 and aired globally on Discovery Channel that spring. In October 2017, the film picked up two more coveted rewards: News & Documentary Emmys for Outstanding Nature Documentary and Outstanding Music & Sound.

Learn more about ocean noise by watching the video below featuring Michael Jasny, NRDC’s director of marine mammal protection, and Daniel Hinerfeld, director of Sonic Sea. To see the film in its entirety, visit sonicsea.org.

Victory

How we got the U.S. Navy to finally agree to stop conducting harmful sonar testing in sensitive whale migration and breeding areas.

Explainer

Southern Resident orcas face many threats in the Northwest, but giving them more salmon could remedy most of them.

Drawing Out the Science

Imagine dynamite going off in your neighborhood every 10 seconds. Now imagine you can’t leave. That’s how marine life experience offshore oil and gas exploration.

Action Figure

From the classroom to Capitol Hill, Sena Wazer has dedicated herself to standing up for whales.

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