Help us get our NoiseTracker project off the ground

Donate and help us unite hydrophone operators along the pacific coast to increase science-based decision making to reduce noise impacts on marine life, and inform the public about anthropogenic noise.

Numerous organizations and institutions, including nonprofits, First Nations, academia, technical agencies, government, industry, and port authorities, are involved in Acoustic Monitoring  of ocean soundscapes along the Northeast Pacific Coast using hydrophones. These underwater listening devices detect and record underwater sounds and can be used to determine which whales are in the area, and how much underwater noise pollution from boats is impacting cetacean habitats. 

These monitoring efforts are, however, disjointed and non-standardized, and data are not always accessible. NoiseTracker was born to unite hydrophone operators along the Pacific coast in an effort to collaboratively monitor underwater noise to increase science-based decision making to reduce noise impacts on marine life, and inform the public about anthropogenic noise.

This shared, coast-wide information system will make it possible to identify seasonal and multi-year trends in noise levels along the Pacific coast to inform and facilitate mitigation measures and management decisions, and contribute to conservation strategies that support a quieter marine environment and the recovery of at-risk marine species.

How NoiseTracker will work

NoiseTracker is advised and led by a Steering Committee, a Technical Committee, technical collaborators, and First Nations. Currently, it is coordinated by Raincoast. 

The noise data released by hydrophone operators into the NoiseTracker system will contribute to and enable a comprehensive coast-wide noise monitoring system on a centralized web platform with open access. 

The funds we are raising will go towards developing a custom-made Application Programming Interface (API) which will be made available locally on each hydrophone operator’s system. This API will extract real-time Sound Pressure Levels from raw audio data, transmitting them to a cloud-based server. There, predefined noise metrics will be computed and displayed on a public website with an interactive map interface showcasing each hydrophone node and its metrics. This provides a unified platform offering real-time noise levels along the coast from multiple sites, with long-term trends becoming available over time.

Schematic representation of the NoiseTracker System. NoiseTracker’s server comprises units for data management and storage, data analytics and website management.

NoiseTracker will utilize current industry standards and recommendations for presenting noise data in a range of formats: Sound Pressure Levels, Sound Exposure Levels, Spectrograms, Power Spectral Density Plots and measurements in specific frequency bands related to marine mammal communication and echolocation. 

The platform is being designed with longevity in mind: any metrics produced can be changed or adapted in line with the recommendations of industry experts and the needs of scientists, stewards, and decision-makers.  

Help us get NoiseTracker off the ground

There is strength in collaboration; it can help increase knowledge mobilization across disciplines, accelerate progress, increase funding potential, and provide a greater opportunity to achieve shared goals more efficiently.

We are currently raising funds to get this project off the ground. Collaborators are in place, hydrophones are collecting data, but the platform needs to be built. Your donations will go directly towards our backend technical building of NoiseTracker. 

You can help

Raincoast’s in-house scientists, collaborating graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and professors make us unique among conservation groups. We work with First Nations, academic institutions, government, and other NGOs to build support and inform decisions that protect aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, and the wildlife that depend on them. We conduct ethically applied, process-oriented, and hypothesis-driven research that has immediate and relevant utility for conservation deliberations and the collective body of scientific knowledge.

We investigate to understand coastal species and processes. We inform by bringing science to decision-makers and communities. We inspire action to protect wildlife and wildlife habitats.

Coastal wolf with a salmon in its month.
Photo by Dene Rossouw.