'Sonic Sea' takes deep dive into marine noise pollution

“Sonic Sea” seeks to inform audiences about an environmental issue that is often underreported: marine noise pollution.

Filmmaker Daniel Hinerfeld

Filmmaker Daniel Hinerfeld

For filmmaker Daniel Hinerfeld, this lack of public awareness makes the film’s Chicago debut during the One Earth Film Festival all the more imperative.

"Ocean noise pollution is something NRDC has worked on for 20 years,” says Hinerfeld, director of multimedia and film for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). "It’s a very significant problem. It’s global in nature, and yet very few people know anything about it.”

Over the course of the 60-minute film, Hinerfield hopes viewers become engaged in a nation- wide dialogue.

“[It’s] really important to start a broad conversation about this issue and to bring a large swath of Americans into it,” Hinerfeld says. “We are honored to bring that conversation here to Chicago.”

Additionally, Hinerfeld says he is excited for the film’s Midwestern premiere as it is cultivating change at the grassroots level.

The film absolutely has inspired action,” Hinerfeld says. “It has brought thousands and thousands of activists to the NRDC. It’s put pressure on all levels of government; and it [motivated] the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to release its ocean noise strategy early to the public.”

Given the film’s track record of “getting things done” and “connecting with people emotionally," Hinerfeld is confident the same call to action will be heard here in Chicago. He hopes his newest audience will go to sonicsea.org and click the take action button, spread the word, host screenings, and engage in a measure of reflection.

“There are things we can all do in our own lives to combat climate change,” Hinerfeld says. “We all have to be aware that a lot of these issues are connected to our consumption. I think it’s really time we think about the way we consume.”

Hinerfeld will attend the “Sonic Sea” screening on March 9 at 7 p.m. at the Institute of Cultural Affairs.


—Johnny Figel