US Navy


Marine Species Monitoring

Marine Mammal Research

The U.S. Navy is a world leader in marine mammal research. Our marine mammal research program includes an extensive program of basic research and exploratory development at the Office of Naval Research, as well as the Navy’s Living Marine Resources applied research program, managed by the Naval Facilities Engineering Command. 

The Navy’s marine mammal research program invests in basic research on the potential effects of sounds on marine mammals, and develops scientific information that supports Navy preparation of environmental impact statements and associated regulatory processes under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and other statutes. The research program also goes beyond legal compliance requirements to support development of improved marine mammal monitoring and detection technology and overall knowledge about marine mammals.

The Navy marine mammal research program is guided by research and technology development related to understanding the effects of sound on marine mammals, including physiological, behavioral and ecological effects. The program is currently focused on the following general areas:

A more detailed overview of the Navy’s Marine Mammal Research Program is available in the Reading Room.