Events

Our mission at ‘A Quieter Future’ is to empower and inform you and the global community about the effects and reduction of noise pollution. Currently we are engaged in education and outreach as well as involving governments, non-governmental organizations, and community leaders.

 

Why these Public Outreach Workshops matter

The U.S. has not pursued a significant, national review of community and environmental noise policies for several decades.  Nonetheless, it has become increasingly clear that noise has a significant and negative impact on humans, wildlife, and plants.  Community noise causes many health effects including hypertension, noise induced hearing loss, increased risk of stroke and heart attack, sleep disturbance, obesity, speech interference, and annoyance [2,3]. Noise impairs learning in children and compromises enjoyment of natural surroundings [2]. Collectively, these can reduce quality of life for residents and lower property values.

In wildlife populations, noise was shown to be a major factor in the population decline of 234 species of birds and mammals [4]. Other studies have shown anthropogenic noise increases predation due to reduced predator detection, decreases hunting success, reduces pair bonding, causes temporary or permanent hearing loss, decreases fledging rates, causes complete site abandonment in otherwise high quality habitat, reduces survival rates, depresses immune function, contribute to marine mammal stranding, and decreases reproductive success [5,6,7]. These changes in animal behavior and decline in abundance have resulted in reduced plant growth and reproduction [4].

Reducing noise in our communities, near on-road/off-road networks, rail and air transportation systems, and in remote wilderness areas greatly benefits wildlife and humans. Even in remote areas, the National Park Service has documented excessive noise in national parks and wilderness areas that harm biodiversity [8]. The National Park Service considers noise reduction a high priority and is taking mitigation measures.

Resolution

Successful resolution of these problems requires informed public and political support for improved noise management policy at all levels of government. Other countries have shown this is possible and advantageous. Noise is a unique environmental pollutant: we have the ability and technology today to reduce detrimental noise impacts. It is critical to: (1) encourage and support research on the effects of noise, (2) develop effective and affordable noise control technologies, and (3) implement reasonable and enforceable noise policies.