Navy sonar use in waters off North Olympic Peninsula to be expanded in supplement study under development – PDN

And so the continued piecemeal  expansion of the Navy in our waters continues with virtually no real debate.

The Navy is preparing a supplement to an environmental impact statement that would increase use of sonar in the Northwest Training and Testing Study Area. In January, the Navy released a draft environmental impact study of training exercises and use of sonar and explosives in the training zone that includes areas off the North Olympic Peninsula’s Pacific Coast — including the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary — off Indian Island and in the Strait of Juan de Fuca. By December, the Navy expects to release a supplement to that draft study, recommending increasing the use of sonobuoys, and open it to public comment. Paul Gottlieb reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

2 Responses

  1. These sonar blasts are not like the pings of old movies. They are more like welding flashes to your eyes. You can take one or two but eventually you will become blind or in this case deaf. A deaf mammal is a dead mammal. Fish will not fair better in the long run for many of those species also respond to sound as they too have ears.

  2. So when is a Marine Sanctuary actually a safe place for marine life? It seems you can do almost anything you want in one.

    The problems that I’ve observed in 30 years of sailing, paddling, and walking the coastal areas of the Northwest include wildlife disturbance, commercial and recreational over harvesting of fisheries, large vessel routing problems, local, state, and federal government resistance to the development and maintenance of marine reserves, local watershed management and storm water runoff problems, oil spills, pollution of near shore waters and bays by septic systems and sewers, and the myriad issues that arise when habitat restoration is planned.

    My suggestion. Let’s actually make Marine Sanctuaries “no-take”, no disturbance zones. Currently only 1/4 of one percent of the marine environment is protected from exploitation (source:, Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations). It is time to get serious about the protection of the ocean environment. I understand that the Navy has legitimate needs to train for their mission. However, we also need to protect coastal waters to enhance regional fisheries, protect marine life, and to protect the wild coasts as a legacy for the next generation.

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