Marine Species Research

The Navy continues to be a world leader in marine species research and monitoring, funding marine research programs, surveys, and data collection efforts. The Navy partners with state and federal agencies, universities, research institutions, federal laboratories, and private researchers around the world to better understand marine species. Data and reports from scientific research and monitoring help environmental regulators, scientists, the public, and the Navy to:

  • Better understand the abundance, distribution, foraging, reproduction, physiology, hearing and sound production, behavior, and ecology of marine species, which are needed to assess the effects on species from naval activities
  • Refine methods used to detect and monitor marine species before, during, and after training activities
  • Add to the understanding of the effects of underwater sound on marine species
  • Develop improved tools to model and estimate potential effects of underwater sound

The Navy must maintain operational readiness by conducting training and testing at sea. To ensure the best available science is used in compliance with the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) and the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the Navy invests in three main programs that range from basic research to monitoring marine species. Coordination across all three programs ensures projects with the highest potential to be beneficial to the Fleets receive prioritization for support and funding.