EarthJustice wins lawsuit against the Navy over sonar sites

This just in. EarthJustice, an environmental group that often sues to protect species and habitat, have claimed to have won a major victory against the Navy, to protect marine mammals from sonar testing. I have not yet seen the ruling, so I am unclear as to how much area it protects. For example, Earthjustice only mentions Hawaii and Southern California in their press release. It is unclear as to whether the Navy will honor the Washington/Oregon and Alaska coastal areas. In Alaska, for example, whales have been washing up dead in numbers unprecedented in recent history,during and  just after Navy training exercises in June. This web site will work to better understand the ruling and how it might affect us in the Pacific NW. More to follow.

For the first time ever, the U.S. Navy has agreed to put vast swaths of important habitat for numerous marine mammals off limits to dangerous mid-frequency sonar training and testing and the use of powerful explosives.

Until it expires in late 2018, the agreement will protect habitat for the most vulnerable marine mammal populations, including endangered blue whales, for which waters off the coast of Southern California are a globally important feeding area. It will also protect numerous small, resident whale and dolphin populations off Hawai‘i, for whom the islands are literally their only home.

Navy seeks public comment on sonar use in training with supplement to environmental impact statement -PDN

This has to do with the previous EISA which involves the offshore training impacts primarily. But there are people reviewing this document to see what’s been added. One has to wonder that the odd timing of this isn’t somehow related to adding things for the Forest Service EA under this update to the EISA that is related to it. Confusing? You bet. And likely very well calculated to be.

The U.S. Navy has completed a supplement to an environmental impact statement that examines the proposed increased use of sonar in the Northwest Training and Testing Area. The Northwest Training and Testing Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Overseas Environmental Impact Statement is available for public review and comment online at http://tinyurl.com/PDN-eissonar. The Navy is accepting comments through Feb. 2. The draft environmental impact study and supplement for the Northwest Training and Testing Study Area are separate from a controversial electronic warfare training project in the Olympic Military Operations Area for which the Navy is seeking U.S. Forest Service permits.   (Peninsula Daily News)

http://peninsuladailynews.com/article/20141224/news/312249984/navy-seeks-public-comment-on-sonar-use-in-training-with-supplement-to

Navy Planning on Electronic Warfare Exercises Near Forks – No warning to locals – Forks Forum

Apparently the Navy is planning on conducting unannounced Electronic Warfare Exercise in rural areas around Forks sometime in the near future. The exercises will include some kind of electromagnetic radiation exposure, that the Navy intends to stop if humans are found in the area. WTF?

Discussed in the Forks Forum, http://www.forksforum.com/opinion/277005121.html, this training exercise, which was ‘publicized’ in news outlets far from the affected areas, is somehow secret, yet needing local approval. According to the article, local politicians in Forks are unaware of the activity.

You can read the whole story at the link above, but if you want to call and complain, here’s the info:

Call Dean Millett at 374-1222 or Charles Escola (Navy-Silverdale) at 360-396-0069 or Leslie Yuenger, Northwest Public Affairs Officer (Navy) 360-396-6387.

Navy Looks To Renew Permits For Bombing And Sonar Exercises In The Northwest – Earthfix

The Navy is pursuing permits to continue conducting sonar and explosives exercises in a large area of the Pacific Ocean — and that’s putting marine mammal advocates on high alert. Public hearings kick off next week as the Navy gathers public comments on its draft environmental impact statement for the Northwest training and testing range. The range stretches from northern California to the Canadian border. Ashley Ahearn reports.

http://earthfix.kcts9.org/flora-and-fauna/article/navy-looks-to-renew-permits-for-bombing-and-sonar-/

NOAA Releases Marine Mammals Protection Regulations for Navy Training- Navaltoday.com

We’ll see if we can contact USNB Bangor and find out how they may relate to our waters.

Final regulations requiring the United States Navy to implement protective measures during training and testing activities off the coasts of California and Hawaii and on the high seas of the Pacific Ocean to reduce the effects on marine mammals have been released, NOAA Fisheries announced yesterday.

Read the whole story here:

http://navaltoday.com/2013/12/17/noaa-releases-marine-mammals-protection-regulations-during-navy-training/

Killer whale death leads to call for ban on navy exercises–Vancouver Sun

We regularly rail against the growing militarization of the Sound and Hood Canal. We are being turned into advanced Naval training area with no oversight of the effects that Navy is having, and no voice in what they do. Now Canada is getting on board the call for a moratorium.

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Speculation is growing over what caused the death of a young resident killer whale and conservation organizations want the Royal Canadian Navy to stop holding military training exercises in the whales’ critical habitat. David Suzuki Foundation, Georgia Strait Alliance, Greenpeace, Living Oceans, Raincoast Conservation Foundation, Sierra Club B.C., Western Canada Wilderness Committee and the World Wildlife Fund want an end to military exercises in the area and a release of all information about activities in the area that might have contributed to Sooke’s death.

Killer Whale Death leads to call for Navy Ban

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.

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