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Zak Smith’s Blog

This Week in Whales: Join the Hundreds of Thousands Asking the Navy to Protect Whales and Dolphins from Deadly Training and Testing

Zak Smith

Posted July 9, 2012 in Reviving the World's Oceans, Saving Wildlife and Wild Places

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There’s only one piece of news in the world of whales this week that I’m focusing on – the comment deadline (tomorrow, July 10) on the Navy’s plans for training and testing activities in Southern California and Hawaii and along the Atlantic Coast and in the Gulf of Mexico from 2014 to 2019.  The Navy’s own estimates of harm paint a picture of unprecedented carnage:  33 million instances of “take” (“take” means any harm that ranges from a significant behavioral impact, like habitat abandonment, to death), including more than 5 million instances of temporary hearing loss, more than 15,000 instances of permanent hearing loss, almost 9,000 lung injuries, and more than 1,800 deaths from the use of sonar and explosives over the five-year period.

It’s an unprecedented story of devastation that is leading hundreds of thousands to take a stand against the Navy’s plans.  Over 400,000 people have signed a petition through SignOn.org (Navy to deafen 15,900 whales and dolphins and kill 1,800 more).  I hope you will add your name to the growing list as soon as possible -- the deadline for comments to the Navy is tomorrow, July 10.

People are rightfully incensed because the Navy’s staggering estimation of harm did not trigger an effort to identify and analyze alternatives or mitigation measures that would in any way significantly reduce the harm to these area’s whales and dolphins.  The Navy should go back to the drawing board and find ways to limit the harm to marine mammals before finalizing its plans.  We may need to train and test with sonar and explosives but there has to be a way to do it that protects whales and dolphins as much as possible while also achieving the Navy’s training and testing needs.

Please join me in asking the Navy to do more to protect whales and dolphins from its training and testing activities by signing the SignOn.org petition and NRDC’s alert here:  Protect Whales from the Navy’s Sonic Onslaught!

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Comments

Ester JansenJul 9 2012 04:39 PM

I have read a lot about strandings and it is sad that navy somar is involved in most of these strandings causing whales and dolphin to die.
Please stop using sonar in te habitat of marine-life.
My children love wwhales/dolphins/sharks and everything that lives...this has to stop!
Thank you,please show compassion and I hope that Life will be valued again

Lisa St MichaelJul 9 2012 04:40 PM

Please stop your assaults on sea life. There is always another way. Where is your compassion?

Rebecca StringerJul 9 2012 08:09 PM

Is there any link to a source document (i.e. the Navy's EIS) available? I've only been able to find this minimum of information on the web. Not that I don't believe our government is capable of such horror, I just don't want to believe it. Therefore, I'm skeptical. Where's the original statement from the Navy? Thanks.

Zak SmithJul 9 2012 08:18 PM

Hi Rebecca,

All of the numbers come directly from the Navy's own documents. For the Altantic EIS, you can go here: http://aftteis.com/DocumentsandReferences/AFTTDocuments/DraftEISOEISMay2012.aspx. The information is in the Marine Mammal Chapter at 3.4-129 to 135; 3.4-175; 3.4-178 to 181. For the Hawaii-Southern California EIS, you can go here: http://hstteis.com/DocumentsandReferences/HSTTDocuments/DraftEISOEISMay2012.aspx. The information is in the Marine Mammal Chapter at 3.4-167 to 168; 3.4-171 to 172. Obviously, you have to add the numbers together for the different class of activities (training, testing, etc.) and also adjust for the time period. Most of the numbers from the Navy are given on an annual basis, although the document covers a 5-year period so you have to adjust for five years.

Usha KatirJul 11 2012 01:21 AM

You have until 4am Wed. 7/11/12 to have your voice heard by the navy. Here is the link.

http://hstteis.com/GetInvolved/OnlineCommentForm.aspx

Usha KatirJul 11 2012 01:24 AM

If you missed the petition, go directly to Navy to post comments for the record. http://hstteis.com/GetInvolved/OnlineCommentForm.aspx
It is not too late!

V willsJul 14 2012 01:01 PM

You need to refute this online report & supply USN report pages supporting this petition drive -
http://santacruz.patch.com/blog_posts/contrary-to-hyped-reports-the-navy-isnt-out-to-kill-whales-and-dolphins-be12854f

The document links you supplied aren't working -
Please correct them or paste in relevant paragraphs.
Thanks

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Switchboard is the staff blog of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the nation’s most effective environmental group. For more about our work, including in-depth policy documents, action alerts and ways you can contribute, visit NRDC.org.

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