Dangerous US Navy proposals…

…threaten the marine environment.

Received from Seaflow

“The U.S. Navy has been a major contributor to ocean noise pollution with its use of high-intensity active sonar as a component of its Anti-Submarine Warfare program. Despite irrefutable scientific evidence that noise can be deadly for marine life, the Navy now has two proposals that necessarily will increase ocean noise pollution. The first is a request to establish a 500-square-mile sonar testing range in the Atlantic off the coast of North Carolina. The project has been named the Undersea Warfare Testing Range (USWTR). The second is a proposal to double the number of ships equipped with low-frequency active (LFA) sonar. As you know, Seaflow has long opposed the use of LFA sonar because of the risk to marine life.

Seaflow advocates for a precautionary or common sense approach to the use of high-intensity active sonar. Since military active sonar is increasingly being shown to disrupt the web of life in the ocean and often has dire consequences for marine mammals, fish and other sea animals, we must work to reduce the Navy’s dependence on this dangerous technology.

Under the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) the Navy is required to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) any time it proposes projects that might impact the environment. The Navy has published a draft EIS (DEIS) for the proposed Undersea Warfare Testing Range (USWTR) and a draft supplemental EIS (DSEIS) for LFA sonar. NEPA also requires a public comment period for any EIS.

Seaflow and several of our ocean noise coalition partners, have been preparing statements that address specific concerns regarding the DEIS and the DSEIS. Now, we are asking you to participate by sending your comments in before the fast-approaching close of the public comment period.

We know that the EIS documents are long and dense, and we suggest that it is not necessary for you to comment as thoroughly as an organization might unless you wish to do so. However, we believe it is important for the Navy to recognize the number of people who are concerned that increased human-generated ocean noise will have a negative impact on the ocean environment.

Please take a few minutes to write two postcards or short letters to express your concerns about increasing ocean noise pollution. You should request that your comments be included as part of the “Record of the Decision.” I will outline the details for each below:

For the DEIS for the Undersea Warfare Training Range, please write or fax Keith Jenkins and let him know your concerns about the USWTR. The testing range will be used to train with high-intensity sonar systems and will repeatedly expose marine life to increased levels of noise pollution. Remember to include the federal register number (70 Federal Register 62101- 62103) and request that your comments be included for the “Record of the Decision.” The deadline for public comment is January 30, 2006.

Mr. Keith Jenkins
Naval Facilities Engineering Command Atlantic (Code EV21KJ)
6506 Hampton Boulevard
Norfolk, VA 23508
Fax: 757-322-4894

Here is the link for the Navy’s USWTR website: US Navy USWTR
Seaflow’s Science Advisor, Michael Stocker, has written comments about the DEIS, which can be found here: download

For the DSEIS for the deployment of the U.S. Navy’s Surveillance Towed Array Sensor System Low Frequency Active (SURTASS LFA) sonar, please write or email Joe Johnson, SURTASS LFA Program Manager. Let him know your concern that increasing the number of ships equipped with LFA sonar will only increase ocean noise pollution, putting marine life at further risk. Remember to include the federal register number (70 FR 68443) and request that your comments be included as part of the “Record of the Decision.” The deadline for public comment is February 10, 2006

Mr. Joe Johnson
4100 Fairfax Drive
Suite 730
Arlington, VA 22203
eisteam@mindspring.com

Here is the link for the Navy’s LFA Sonar website:
Sonar website

If you would like more information about both of these Navy proposals, please visit Seaflow’s newsroom page, http://www.seaflow.org/article.php?list=type&type=15, and the International Ocean Noise Coalition (IONC) website, http://awionline.org/whales/Noise/IONC/index.htm. Seaflow is a member of IONC.

Thank you for taking a moment to participate in this process and speak up for the whales, dolphins and all marine life that need our help to protect their environment.”

Ingrid Overgard
Program Director
1062 Fort Cronkhite
Sausalito, CA 94965
Phone (Direct): 415-229-9354
Phone (Main): 415-229-9366
Fax:415-229-9340
Email: ingrid@seaflow.org
Seaflow

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About Leighton Cooke

The Original Cookiemouse
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