6 Ocean & Coastal L.J. 257 (2001)
International Regulation of Transboundary Pollutants: The Emerging Challenge of Ocean Noise

handle is hein.journals/occoa6 and id is 267 raw text is: INTERNATIONAL REGULATION
OF TRANSBOUNDARY POLLUTANTS:
THE EMERGING CHALLENGE
OF OCEAN NOISE
Elena M. McCarthy*
Undersea noise pollution is like the death of a thousand cuts.
Each sound in itself may not be a matter of critical concern, but
taken all together, the noise from shipping, seismic surveys, and
military activity is creating a totally different environment than
existed even fifty years ago. That high level of noise is bound to
have a hard, sweeping impact on life in the sea. Regulating these
sound sources can be difficult, but one has to start somewhere.
Every breath we take is dependent on the ocean. And unless we
really understand how that vast system works and take better care
of it, it isn 't just the ocean that's in jeopardy. It's our whole future
that's at stake.'
- Dr Sylvia Earle, former Chief Scientist,
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
I. INTRODUCTION
Transboundary pollution law poses the challenge of addressing
environmental problems irrespective of boundaries in an international legal
system that values, above all, territorial sovereignty of individual States.
Over the years, several international disputes have resulted over damage
that occurred when one State's pollutants crossed into another State's
* Elena McCarthy is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Marine Affairs at the
University of Rhode Island. She is also a mechanical/ocean engineer at the Naval Undersea
Warfare Center in Newport, Rhode Island.
1. MICHAEL JASNY, SOUNDING THE DEPTHS: SUPERTANKERS, SONAR AND THE RISE OF
UNDERSEA NOISE, vii. (Natural Resources Defense Council, 1999). See also Dwight Holing,
The Sound and the Fury, 16 AMICuS J. 18, 19 (1994).

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