The council contracted in 2007 with Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute for a literature search and review of aquatic noise pollution in Prince William Sound.
The goal of this project was to determine the effects, if any, of vessel traffic noise on marine life in Prince William Sound and to recommend practical mitigation measures should a deleterious effect from noise pollution be determined.
The effect of tankers and their escort tugs transiting Prince William Sound on the underwater marine environment was largely unknown. It was unknown what research, if any, has been done on stress related problems on marine mammals from vessel traffic.
The council is tasked under OPA90 to determine environmental effects from operation of the Valdez Marine Terminal and the crude oil transport and delivery system.
The project was completed in October of 2007 with the final report’s approval at the January 2008 Board meeting. The report is entitled Aquatic Noise Pollution from Oil Tankers and Escort Vessels in Prince William Sound, Its Effects and Impacts on the Marine Environment of the Sound: Literature Search from 1980 to Present