Navy to expand sonar, other training off Northwest coast – AP

Despite our best efforts…the military continues to turn our area into a training ground. Expanded sonar testing. Expanded jet flights. Increasing base forces. They get the National Marine Fisheries Service to buy into their assumptions on ‘no net loss’. They expand an antiquated air field  that should be shut down and moved to a more remote area. They conduct sonar tests in the same waters as our last remaining Orcas. Folks, they will never really work to protect our environment. Now we get a Federal Government that will give them carte blanche to continue to expand. And where is Representative Derek Kilmer, Senator Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell in all this? Silent.

The U.S. Navy has finalized a plan to expand sonar testing and other warfare training off the coasts of Washington, Oregon and northern California. The Navy decided to implement its preferred plan after a lengthy review that included a determination from the National Marine Fisheries Service that the exercises would not have major impacts on endangered orcas and other marine mammals. It announced its decision on Nov. 4. The fisheries service last year renewed the Navy’s five-year permit, through 2020, to conduct the activities in areas from the inland waters of Puget Sound in Washington state to the northern coast of California. Phuong Le reports. (Associated Press)

http://www.thenewstribune.com/latest-news/article114532458.html

Navy, Noise and Sealife – News & Event

From the people at The West Coast Action Alliance and the Olympic Forest Coalition
http://westcoastactionalliance.org and http://olympicforest.org

Noise in the sea is killing and injuring wildlife. The numbers are shocking. The online news organization Truthout published their top story this morning, on the excessively high numbers of marine mammals the US Navy is allowed to “take” as a result of exploding mines and bombs and using sonar in sensitive habitats during testing and training exercises. Truthout senior investigative reporter Dahr Jamail researched and wrote it after noticing this post from the West Coast Action Alliance:

Coincidentally, the New York Times wrote last week that Navy sonar “cannot be ruled out as cause of death” for dolphins in Southern California.

Which brings us to this: 23 organizations are sponsoring a showing of the movie “Sonic Sea” on Monday, May 23 from 7-9 PM at the Quimper Unitarian Universalist Fellowship (QUUF) in Port Townsend, Washington, 2333 San Juan Avenue. The eye-opening film reveals how noise from Navy sonar, drilling operations and everyday vessel traffic adversely impacts whales and other sea life. (Watch trailer here.)  A donation of $10 is suggested at the door.

Two world renowned experts and cast members will be at the screening – Ken Balcomb of the Center for Whale Research and Michael Jasny of the National Resources Defense Council. They will speak and, after the film, lead a Q&A session. (Press release here.)  If you are not in the area, check this site for more screenings, or to host one in your area. To learn more, download theOcean Noise Report.

Navy appears to be using active sonar near Orcas – Beamreach

Beamreach has published sound patterns from the Salish Sea Hydrophone Network that appears to show active sonar blasts that could seriously impact Orcas and other marine mammals. The Navy has stated that it would avoid this kind of behavior, and we are awaiting word from them that they either mistakenly did this, or will stop it. To be clear, the intensity of these pings have scientists worried about injury to the whales.

With transient killer whales in the area and the whereabouts of J and L pods (and their many newborns!) unknown, we were concerned to hear that active sonar was utilized late in the morning on Wednesday, January 13, in Haro Strait — critical habitat for species in both Canada and the U.S.  At the same time, military training activities were planned or taking place on both sides of the border.  This is what is sounded like — – See more at: http://www.beamreach.org/2016/01/14/navy-starts-2016-pinging-in-the-pool#sthash.tUSgcTV7.dpuf

http://www.beamreach.org/2016/01/14/navy-starts-2016-pinging-in-the-pool

Navy hosting public meeting in Quilicene tonight

Good chance to come out and call for a moratorium on sonar use in the Salish Sea, including Hood Canal. They Navy is expanding it’s training efforts here, despite whether the public wants it or not. You still have time to get out and let them know your feelings.

Navy hosting public meeting in Quilcene today
Peninsula Daily
… of Juan de Fuca, Puget Sound and the Behm canal in southeastern Alaska,
… as well as the Keyport Range Complex, which covers areas of Hood Canal.

Feds set conditions for Navy sonar use – AP

11/10 Associated Press
Feds set conditions for Navy sonar use  – by Associated Press

SEATTLE (AP) — The U.S. Navy must shut down sonar use if marine mammals are spotted near training exercises and take other precautions when using the sound-wave technology or explosives off the Northwest coast, NOAA’s Fisheries Service said Tuesday.

The Navy requested authorization for the training exercises from NOAA under the Marine Mammal Protection Act because noise from mid-frequency sonar and explosives may affect the behavior of some animals or cause temporary hearing loss.

Environmentalists said NOAA’s safety measures are ineffective because animals can be harmed outside of the monitoring zone and some marine mammals most vulnerable to sonar are extremely difficult to spot.

More at
http://www.goskagit.com/home/article/feds_set_conditions_for_navy_sonar_use/

Action item: Contact lawmakers on Navy Testing Plan

We have covered the proposal by the Navy to create an expanded testing range here in Admiralty Inlet before on olyopen.net. In order for you to be better informed on this, I’ve included this California site which has a good overview of the issues facing us if this goes through.

I think I agree with some who say we Washington residents should be requesting that the government hold a hearing in Washington State.  On the White House web site there is a place to put in comments. 

Read up, and make up your own mind on whether this sounds like a good idea for the waters off our shores here on the east end of Jefferson County. If you agree, you may want to send in, or call in a comment asking for such a hearing to be held locally.

http://www.californiaskywatch.com/white_house_request_comments_on_oceans.htm

Navy decides not to do sonar training in Puget Sound – Chris Dunagan

Chris Dunagan of the Kitsap Sun uncovers the news that the Navy has apparently decided to not do any more sonar training use in Puget Sound. Good news for our marine wildlife. —-read the whole story and comment if you wish at…http://pugetsoundblogs.com/waterways/2009/07/30/some-sonar-questions-are-answered-others-remain/

—————

The Navy has decided not to conduct training exercises involving sonar within Puget Sound. That information was revealed in a proposed incidental take permit for the Northwest Training Range Complex, now subject to public review under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. See my story in today’s Kitsap Sun.

While this decision no doubt will be a good thing for area marine mammal populations, I’m still a bit confused about the extent to which sonar may be used in non-training conditions.

Use of sonar in the testing of equipment and new technologies will come under a separate take permit for the Naval Undersea Warfare Center, based at Keyport.

But, according to a statement I received from the Navy, that still leaves open the use of sonar for “safety and navigation,” “testing,” and “maintenance.”

As I understand the process, if the Navy were to harm marine mammals in one of these procedures without obtaining a take permit in advance, the Navy would be in violation of the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

more at the link above…

%d bloggers like this: