Posts Tagged ‘US Navy Northwest Training and Testing Environmental Impact Statement’

Comments Submitted to Navy Opposing Harm to Marine Mammals

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

OrcasandboatNOAAOn behalf of our thousands of members, supporters and activists, EPIC submitted public comments on the U.S. Navy’s Northwest Training and Testing Environmental Impact Statement, which if approved would authorize the “take” of more than 500,000 marine mammals over the course of the next 5 years.

The original public comment period was scheduled to close on March 26, 2014, but due to the requests of EPIC and others, the Navy extended the public comment period until April 15th.  In that time, EPIC alone was able to gather 6,203 comments and petition signatures from individuals to protect marine life from Navy Sonar and weapons testing in the Pacific Ocean.

The public will have the opportunity to review the Navy’s responses to comments when the Final EIS is available, which is expected in the summer of 2015.

The public will have another opportunity to provide public comments later this year when the National Marine Fisheries Service is expected to issue a proposed rule to authorize the Navy’s training and testing operations.  At that time, we will call upon our supporters once more to speak up for all species that depend on safe clean ocean water for survival.

Click here to view a copy of the comment letter that EPIC sent to the Navy.

To view a copy of a more in-depth group comment letter that EPIC and other organizations collaboratively composed, click here.

Action Alert: Protect Marine Mammals from Navy Sonar and Weapons Testing

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

NOAA_whalecalfTake Action Now! The US Navy has prepared an Environmental Impact Statement to assess the impacts associated with a five-year authorization of military testing and training operations off the coast of the Pacific Northwest in an area that stretches from Cape Mendocino all the way north to the Canadian border, including Alaskan waters. The proposed activities are expected to injure, disturb or kill more than a hundred thousand individuals consisting of 29 different marine mammal species, which are supposed to be protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

Proposed activities would subject marine mammals, fish, sea turtles and other sea life to countless impacts including mid-frequency sonar, which is noise that is billions of times more intense than natural sound. The use of sonar has been directly connected to many instances of beached whales that have died from baro-trauma after military sonar exercises.  Even 300 miles from the source, sonar can be up to 140 decibels, which is 100 times more intense than the level known to alter whale behavior.

Additional testing and training activities that would affect marine mammals include the use of explosives, electromagnetic devices, physical strikes from missiles, underwater detonations and ships, entanglement and ingestion of toxic chemicals and munitions. These activities often result in the disruption of basic behaviors of marine mammals including activities necessary for survival such as migration, surfacing, navigating, hearing, nursing, breeding and feeding.  Many of the species that would be affected are listed as threatened or endangered, making the Navy’s proposed project a direct violation of the Endangered Species Act.

EPIC has participated in the scoping process of this project, attended public meetings, compiled related action alerts and will continue to stand up to the Navy in an effort to stop the unnecessary killing of marine mammals and other marine species. We need your help to show the Navy that people on the North Coast care deeply about ocean life.

There are several things you can do to help:

  • Attend public meetings, including a meeting this Thursday, March 6 at the Red Lion Hotel in Eureka from 5-8pm.
  • Submit comments to the Navy.
  • Share this action with your friends via social media networks.
  • Contribute to our efforts to fund this campaign.

Please click here to take action now.  Tell the US Navy to rescind the proposed training and testing activities and explore other alternatives to train military personnel that do not significantly degrade the environment and put hundreds of thousands of marine animals at risk in the global commons. If you can add a personal touch, your comment will go even further in letting the US Navy know that the public does not approve of the Navy’s destructive training operations.

Public “open house information sessions” will be held at multiple locations along the Pacific Coast, including one in Eureka this Thursday, March 6, at the Red Lion Hotel Redwood Ballroom at 1929 4th Street.  If you live outside of the Humboldt Bay area, you may be able to attend one of the other sessions in your area.  All written and verbal comments delivered during these meetings will be added to the administrative record, so please urge as many as you can to turn out and let the Navy hear your voice.

Click Here to Take Action Now!

Click here to see EPIC’s past efforts to stop the Navy’s unnecessary killing of marine mammals for their testing and training operations.