Hydroacoustics 101: How it Works, Why it Matters and What to Do With It in CEQA



Saturday, May 20, 2017
3:45 p.m. - 5:15 p.m. CDT

San Francisco, CA, United States

CM | 1.50

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Hydroacoustic noise (i.e., underwater sound) has become a prominent issue within the San Francisco Bay along with all large West Coast estuaries. Much like the noisy urban environment, large estuaries have become a noisy place for many species. These noises can be generated by a number of human made sources including in-water construction work such as pile driving or other removal or demolition, and water vessel traffic. When these artificial sounds exceed certain levels, they can cause harm to fish and marine mammals. Consequently, hydroacoustic levels are regulated for projects that involve work within the water column, such as pier repair and installation, waterfront development, and bridge projects. The purpose of this panel is to provide attendees with a thorough understanding of the technical and regulatory elements of this issue in California and how to incorporate that information into CEQA. The panel will include experts representing sound, biology, policy, and regulatory aspects of hydroacoustics.



Panel presentations will cover a diversity of topics including: an introduction to hydroacoustics and the hydroacoustic working group; overview of the physics of hydroacoustics, sound exposure, peak levels and cumulative impacts; a biological discussion on the physiological and behavioral effects of sound on fish and marine mammals; regulatory guidelines for permitting requirements and compliance; and CEQA applications for how this issue should be addressed in CEQA documents along with example mitigation measures. Following the presentations, a Q&A and open discussion with the panel will be held for the conclusion of the session.


James Reyff

James Reyff is a meteorologist at Illingworth & Rodkin, Inc. with over 20 years of experience throughout California. He has conducted over 15 major acoustical technical studies for transportation systems. He has managed several research studies for Caltrans including a noise study that evaluated long-range diffraction and reflection of traffic noise ... Read More

Bruce Rymer

Bruce Rymer, is a Senior Engineer at Caltrans who serves on the Fisheries Hydroacoustic Working Group (FHWG), and has extensive knowledge regarding the collaboration process and importance of creating technical guidance for project assessment, mitigation, and monitoring for effects of pile-driving noise on fish species. Mr. Rymer also serves as ... Read More

Justin Semion

Justin Semion is an aquatic ecologist at WRA, Inc. with over 15 years experience working throughout California. He received his undergraduate training at the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment and completed his graduate work at the Presidio Graduate School, completing a MBA in Sustainable Management. Justin ... Read More

Jacqueline Pearson-Meyer

Jacqueline Pearson Meyer, PhD, is a fisheries biologist and the California Hydroacoustics Coordinator for the National Marine Fisheries Service in Santa Rosa, California. She is a member of the Fisheries Hydroacoustic Working Group and has assisted in developing guidance for hydroacoustic impacts for California and other regions, including the Caltrans ... Read More

Dan Chase

Dan Chase is a fisheries biologist at WRA, Inc. with over 10 years experience working throughout California. He completed a master of science in physiology and behavioral biology from San Francisco State University where he studied the stress response and growth rate of juvenile fish. Dan has worked on several ... Read More

Christina Hirt

Christina Hirt is an Environmental Planner at WRA, Inc. with two years of experience preparing environmental review documents pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). She completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Studies and Communications from the University of San Diego ... Read More

Contact Info

Lynne Bynder, lbynder@meetingsxceptional.com