INDEX - MILITARY
SUBJECT: KAUAI THREATENED AGAIN
SOURCE: MARK PALMER firstname.lastname@example.org
POSTED: 9 JULY 2006 - 4:30am HST
Compromise over RIMPAC sonar use
aircraft carrier USS Carl Vincent docked in Pearl Harbor
Navy agrees on sonar precautions
by Tony Perry 8 July 2006 in The Los Angeles Times
Multinational military drills off Hawaii will include steps to protect whales. In return, an environmental group drops its lawsuit.
The Navy and an environmental group reached an out-of-court agreement Friday on the issue of whale safety that will allow the Navy to use active sonar during a multinational exercise underway off Hawaii.
The Navy agreed to add whale spotters during sonar drills and to expand a buffer zone where it would not conduct the active sonar drills.
In exchange, the Natural Resources Defense Council withdrew its lawsuit. The compromise was ratified by a federal judge in Los Angeles.
Environmental attorney Richard Kendall called the settlement "a significant step forward in the protection of our oceans." A Navy admiral characterized it as requiring "a small number of additional mitigation measures."
On Monday, District Judge Florence-Marie Cooper, sitting in Los Angeles, had blocked the Navy from using the midfrequency active sonar until a July 18 hearing. She had agreed with the lawsuit's assertion that the sonar use would violate the National Environmental Policy Act.
The Navy on Wednesday had sought to have Cooper's order quashed by a federal appeals court as endangering national security and military cooperation between the U.S. and its allies.
The Rim of the Pacific exercises that began last week involve naval forces from eight countries, including 40 ships, six submarines and 19,000 military personnel.
The Navy insists that the active sonar exercises are needed to train sailors to detect stealthy submarines such as those in the naval forces of Iran, North Korea and China.
But environmentalists say the sound waves produced by the sonar could injure or possibly kill whales and other marine mammals.
Rear Adm. James Symonds, the Navy's director of environmental readiness, in announcing the settlement, said it was "critically important that we have been able to turn active sonar on" for the rest of the RIMPAC exercise, set to run through July 28.
Under the agreement, the Navy promised not to use the sonar within 25 miles of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Marine National Monument, recently established by President Bush as a nature preserve. The RIMPAC exercise had not been planned for that area, Navy officials said.
Also, the Navy promised to have more whale spotters and to order sailors manning detection microphones to listen for whale sounds.
The Navy agreed to publicize a marine mammal hotline in Hawaii for residents to report any mammal incidents that might result from the sonar exercises.
In 2004, during similar exercises, 150 melon-headed whales moved into a shallow bay off Kauai, apparently spooked by the naval activity. A federal study later blamed the Navy's use of active sonar.
Before this year's RIMPAC, the Navy had agreed to mitigation measures suggested by the National Marine Fisheries Service, including spotters and off-limits zones.
But after the agency granted an "incidental harassment" permit for the sonar drill, the Natural Resources Defense Council filed the lawsuit, calling those measures inadequate.
Navy officials said the new measures could be easily accommodated into the war-game planning and the active sonar might be turned on as soon as today.
In an effort to thwart the lawsuit by the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Department of Defense had granted a six-month exemption to the Navy to strictures in the Marine Mammal Protection Act. But Cooper, in issuing her temporary sonar ban, ruled the exemption did not apply to a second environmental law.
The issue of sonar's impact on marine life has flared for several years as whales have beached in several areas around the globe after Navy ships have used active sonar.
Navy to Limit Needless Harm to Whales
National Resource Defense Fund Press Release 7 July 2006
Common Sense Measures in New Accord Include Sonar-Free Buffer Around Newly Created Marine National Monument.
Conservation and animal welfare groups today reached a settlement in a hard-fought lawsuit against the U.S. Navy that will reduce needless harm to whales, dolphins and other marine life caused by high-intensity, mid-frequency sonar used during massive international war games now underway in waters off of Hawaii.
The settlement comes four days after the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and other organizations won a restraining order temporarily blocking the use of mid-frequency sonar during the eight-nation Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercises until better safety procedures were in place. In granting the order, the judge agreed the plaintiffs had presented "considerable convincing scientific evidence demonstrating that the Navy's use of MFA sonar can kill, injure, and disturb many marine species, including marine mammals."
Today's agreement, approved by the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, requires new safeguards, including a sonar-free buffer zone around the Marine National Monument recently created by President Bush, and significant increases in monitoring for marine mammals during sonar drills.
"This settlement confirms that measures to protect our oceans can and must be part of the Navy's training for submarine defense," said Joel Reynolds, a senior attorney at NRDC and director of its Marine Mammal Protection Project. "Military readiness does not require, and our laws do not allow, our natural resources to be sacrificed in the name of national defense. That is a false choice, and this lawsuit has vindicated the essential principle that none of us, including the Navy, is above the law."
Among other things, the settlement specifically:
* Prevents the Navy from using sonar within the newly established Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Marine National Monument or within a 25-nautical-mile sonar buffer zone around it;
* Requires all Navy personnel listening through underwater detection microphones to monitor for marine mammals and report the detection of any marine mammal to the appropriate watch station for action;
* Requires aerial surveillance for marine mammals during sonar drills and reporting of sightings to a marine mammal response officer;
* Requires the Navy to have at least one dedicated and three non-dedicated marine mammal observers on every surface sonar vessel during all sonar drills, and to add an additional dedicated marine mammal observer during the three exercises occurring in channels between the islands;
* Requires the Navy to publicize in the local Hawaii press a hotline for reporting marine mammal incidents.
"We are pleased that the highest leadership in the U.S. Navy hierarchy has agreed to protective measures never before included in RIMPAC exercises," said Richard Kendall, a senior litigation partner at the Los Angeles law firm of Irell & Manella, co-counsel with NRDC in the lawsuit. "This is a significant step forward in the protection of our oceans."
During the last RIMPAC exercise in 2004, there was a mass stranding of more than 150 melon-headed whales in Kauai. A federal government investigation concluded that the Navy's sonar use was the "plausible, if not likely" cause of the stranding.
Today's settlement has no bearing on the lawsuit brought by NRDC and other groups last October over the Navy's use of mid-frequency sonar in other training exercises. That lawsuit is still pending in federal court in Los Angeles.
Whales exposed to high-intensity mid-frequency sonar have repeatedly stranded themselves and died on beaches around the world (including in Hawaii, Washington State, North Carolina and the Bahamas), some bleeding around the brain and in the ears, with severe lesions in their organ tissue. At lower intensities, sonar can interfere with the ability of marine mammals to navigate, avoid predators, find food, care for their young, and, ultimately, to survive.
There is scientific consensus that intense sonar blasts can disturb, injure, and even kill marine mammals. Biologists worry that whales found dying on beaches are only the tip of an iceberg, and that many more are dying at sea. One of the best-documented incidents took place in the Bahamas, in 2000, when 16 whales of three species stranded along 150 miles of shoreline as ships blasted the area with sonar. The U.S. Navy later acknowledged in an official report that its use of sonar was the likely cause of the stranding.
The lawsuit was brought by NRDC in conjunction with the International Fund for Animal Welfare, the Cetacean Society International, the Ocean Futures Society, and Jean-Michel Cousteau. Plaintiffs are represented by NRDC and by Richard Kendall, senior litigation partner at the law firm of Irell & Manella in Los Angeles, California, and a team of his colleagues at Irell & Manella.
The Natural Resources Defense Council is a national, nonprofit organization of scientists, lawyers and environmental specialists dedicated to protecting public health and the environment. Founded in 1970, NRDC has 1.2 million members and online activists nationwide, served from offices in New York, Washington, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
NATURAL RESOURCES DEFENCE COUNCIL
Hamlet Paoletti (310) 434-2317 (direct) or
Daniel Hinerfeld, (310) 434-2303 (direct); (310) 710-3111 (cell)
SUBJECT: KAUAI THREATENED AGAIN
SOURCE: MARK PALMER email@example.com
Navy Seeks Repeal of Judge's Ban on Sonar
8 JULY 2006 - 3:00am HST
logo of the Commander of the US Pacific Fleet
by Tony Perry on 7 July 2006 in The Los Angeles Times
Lawyers say the order, which temporarily bars use of the sound waves in an exercise off Hawaii, harms U.S. security. At issue is marine life safety.
A judge's order banning active sonar during a naval exercise off Hawaii will damage national security, embarrass the United States in front of allies, and make it difficult to form future coalitions to "deter aggression," Navy lawyers charged in a federal appeal to lift the ban.
District Judge Florence-Marie Cooper on Monday issued a temporary restraining order keeping the Navy from using active sonar in its Rim of the Pacific exercise until a July 18 hearing.
Cooper also ordered the Navy to meet with Natural Resources Defense Council attorneys by July 12 to consider their lawsuit alleging that the sound waves would hurt whales and other marine mammals.
The biennial Rim of the Pacific exercise, set to run through July 28, involves the naval forces of the U.S., Britain and six Pacific Rim nations, with 40 ships, six submarines, dozens of aircraft, and 19,000 military personnel. The active sonar portion of the exercise was set to begin this week.
The Navy, backed by lawyers from the Justice Department, wants judges from the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco to quash Cooper's order. Waiting until a July 18 hearing would be too late in the exercise , the Navy says.
The Navy insists that the use of midfrequency active sonar in the exercise is needed to help sailors learn how to hunt for quiet submarines similar to the kinds Iran, China and North Korea are using as the centerpieces of their naval forces. It contends that the mitigation measures agreed on during negotiations with the National Marine Fisheries Service are sufficient to safeguard the whales.
But the Natural Resources Defense Council says in its lawsuit that the Navy should move its exercise farther from the Hawaiian Islands, expand the "quiet" zone where active sonar will not be used and add more spotters so that the sonar can be turned off if whales are discovered.
Also, the council says the Navy manufactured "a purported emergency" by waiting until the exercise had begun to finish its environmental review and receive a permit from the fisheries service. The Navy's "tactics should not be rewarded," the group says.
In 2004, during a similar multinational test of active sonar, 150 whales herded into a shallow bay. Federal scientists later concluded that the sonar was the reason for the abnormal behavior.
In the court documents filed in the appeal, Rear Adm. John Jay Donnelly, deputy commander and chief of staff for the Pacific Fleet, says allowing the ban to remain in effect "from a foreign relations perspective would be an embarrassment to the United States and would seriously undermine our ability to build coalitions to address future threats in the Pacific Theater."
After the Natural Resources Defense Council filed its lawsuit last week, the Department of Defense authorized a six-month exemption for the Navy from the Marine Mammal Protection Act.
But Cooper ruled that the exemption did not cover another federal animal protection law, the National Environmental Policy Act - an assertion that Department of Justice lawyers are contesting.
Adm. Gary Roughead Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet
Navy to Use Passive Sonar in Exercise
5 July 2006 in the Associated Press
The Navy said it will rely on a different type of sonar during exercises off of Hawaii after environmentalists won a temporary restraining order stopping the service from using a high-intensity sonar that could harm marine mammals.
U.S. District Judge Florence-Marie Cooper's order came after the Defense Department granted the Navy a six-month exemption from the federal Marine Mammal Protection Act to allow use of the "mid-frequency active sonar."
Environmentalists had argued the exemption was aimed at circumventing the lawsuit they filed last week to stop the Navy's use of the sonar in the Rim of the Pacific 2006 exercise.
Government lawyers were reviewing the ruling, and the Navy will probably respond soon, said Jon Yoshishige, a spokesman for the U.S. Pacific Fleet in Hawaii.
Meanwhile, participants in the multinational exercise will search for submarines using "passive sonar," which historically has been used during such exercises, Vice Adm. Barry Costello, commander of the U.S. 3rd Fleet, said in a statement late Monday.
Active sonar locates objects by analyzing sound bounced off them, while passive sonar involves analyzing noises generated by the objects.
Vice Adm. Barry Costello, commander of the U.S. 3rd Fleet, said Tuesday that using active sonar to track submarines is a skill that would deteriorate with a lack of practice.
"The threat for the future is diesel submarines and they are proliferating in the western Pacific," Costello told The Associated Press. "I know active sonar is the only effective means today to track and target diesel submarines."
The Navy estimates Western Pacific nations own at least 140 diesel submarines. The newer models are quieter and can travel longer distances without surfacing, making them more difficult to detect.
Cooper, who based her Monday order on the National Environmental Policy Act, wrote that the Navy's failure to prepare an environmental impact statement or to take a "hard look" at the potential environmental impact of war games amounted to an "arbitrary and capricious" violation of that act.
The Natural Resources Defense Council, the environmental group leading the lawsuit, points to the stranding of more than 150 disoriented melon-headed whales in Hanalei Bay two summers ago while the U.S. Navy and its allies were using sonar in nearby exercises.
An April report by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said naval sonar may have prompted the whales, normally found in deep water, to seek refuge in the bay.
"Of course the Navy needs to train, and our lawsuit doesn't seek to prevent them from training," said Joel Reynolds, the council's senior attorney. "Our goal is simply to require them to incorporate a series of common-sense measures."
The Navy said there is no conclusive evidence to blame sonar for the incident. Even so, the service agreed to steps such as conducting aerial surveys for marine mammals before and after ships turn on their sonar and restricting sonar use to certain areas.
The Navy says it must practice hunting submarines near the Hawaiian islands because they are in the type of environment where it most likely will face an emerging threat of submarine warfare.
Forty ships from eight countries are participating in RIMPAC, the world's largest international maritime war games.
Stop the Navy Noise!
A International Marine Mammal Project, Earth Island Institute
Representative Richard Pombo's bill HR 4075 to renew the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) has stalled out on the House floor, being repeatedly bumped from consideration. That's the good news. However, the bill is still not completely dead -- Pombo's staff is hoping that House leaders will take it up before the August recess. So keep those faxes, e-mails and phone calls up to members of the House of Representatives!
As noted in an earlier e-mail alert, Richard Pombo's proposed amendments to the MMPA make it easier for aquariums and swim-with-dolphin programs to keep cetaceans in captivity, where they often suffer an early death, and for commercial fisheries to drag their feet in the process of protecting marine mammals from entanglement and other dangers.
Please contact (via telephone, fax, or e-mail) your Member of the US House of Representatives! Ask your friends and family to do so, too, and pass along this e-mail alert.
Ask your Representative to OPPOSE HR 4075 and any other bills weakening the protections of the Marine Mammal Protection Act.
"I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: 'O Lord, make my enemies ridiculous.' And God granted it." -- Voltaire
Mark J. Palmer (firstname.lastname@example.org)
International Marine Mammal Project
Director Wildlife Alive
Earth Island Institute (www.earthisland.org)
300 Broadway, Suite 28
San Francisco, CA 94133
(415) 788-3666 x139
(415) 788-7324 (fax)
Public Affairs Officer (N00PA)
Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet
Adm. Gary Roughead Commander
250 Makalapa Drive
Pearl Harbor, HI 96860-3131
phone: (808) 471-3769:
S House of Representatives: Hawaii, 1st District
Prince Kuhio Federal Building
300 Ala Moana Blvd.
Honolulu, HI 96850
phone: (808) 541-2570 fax: (808) 533-0133
1502 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
phone: (202) 225-2726 fax: (202) 225-4580
US House of Representatives: Hawaii, 2nd District
5104 Prince Kuhio Federal Bldg
Honolulu HI 96850
Washington DC Office
128 Cannon HOB
Washington DC 20515
US Senator from Hawaii:
Senator Daniel Akaka
Prince Kuhio Federal Building
300 Ala Moana Blvd., Rm. 3-106
Honolulu, HI 96850
141 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington DC 20510
US Senator from Hawaii:
Senator Daniel Inouye
Prince Kuhio Federal Building
300 Ala Moana Blvd., Rm. 7-212
Honolulu HI 96850
722 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
You can also ask for your Representative's office by calling the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121; or look up your Representative online at: http://www.house.gov/
On your Representative's and Senator's home pages, you can often send messages directly to them via e-mail, or get their fax number under their list of contacts.
Thanks again to Beth Lowell of Oceana and Naomi Rose of Humane Society International for this update.
And thank you for your help for our oceans and all that live in them!
SUBJECT: KAUAI THREATENED AGAIN
SOURCE: JUDY DALTON email@example.com
Temporary reprieve for whales
4 JULY 2006 - 2:45am HST
Navy denies as many as130 pilot whales killed by sonar offTasmania in2005. For more click image.
compiled by Judy Dalton on 3 July 2006
Whales, dolphins and other marine mammals just got a reprieve today through July 18th. Please come to PMRF today/this evening to get our message out to the Navy. We want to see this temporary restraining order become permanent.
A federal judge issued a temporary restraining order today barring the Navy from using a particular kind of sonar allegedly harmful to marine mammals during a Pacific warfare exercise scheduled to begin this week.
The order comes three days after the Navy obtained a six-month national defense exemption from the Defense Department allowing it to use “mid-frequency active sonar.”
Environmental groups had sued to stop the Navy’s use of the sonar in the Rim of the Pacific 2006 exercise off Hawaii. The use of sonar in the war games was set to start Wednesday.
U.S. District Judge Florence-Marie Cooper wrote in her order that the plaintiffs “have shown a possibility that RIMPAC 2006 will kill, injure, and disturb many marine species, including marine mammals, in waters surrounding the Hawaiian Islands.”
Cooper’s ruling means that the Navy cannot use mid-frequency sonar for 10 court days, pending a hearing on July 18.
The Navy had no immediate comment.
The exemption would have temporarily relieved the Navy from the requirements of the Marine Mammal Protection Act.
The Natural Resources Defense Council, which filed the lawsuit, said the Navy had more than enough room in the oceans to train without injuring marine life.
"We are pleased, but not surprised, by the court’s emergency intervention. This ruling underscores that no one, not even the United States military, is above the law," said Joel Reynolds, a senior attorney at NRDC and director of its Marine Mammal Protection Project.
"Last Friday the Navy did an end run around the law protecting marine mammals, but fortunately this country has more than one law against the needless infliction of harm to endangered whales and the environment. We sincerely hope the Navy will now choose to comply."
At issue are the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
On Friday, the Navy received an unprecedented exemption from the Department of Defense granting it permission to ignore the Marine Mammal Protection Act for six months in its use of sonar. The MMPA is this country’s foremost law protecting marine mammals.
However, the U.S. District Court today recognized the validity of the lawsuit’s claims under the National Environmental Policy Act. According to the court in a seven-page order, "Plaintiffs have submitted considerable convincing scientific evidence demonstrating that the Navy’s use of sonar can kill, injure, and disturb many marine species, including marine mammals.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which forged an agreement with the Navy last week permitting the use of the sonar, concluded that the exercises would have no significant impact on the environment, under the National Environmental Policy Act.
NOAA’s permit to use the sonar was the first time such a permit had been granted to the Navy.
by Gregg K. Kakesako on 30 June 2006 for the Honolulu Star-Bulletin
On Friday, June 30, the Defense Department granted the Navy a national security exemption to use sonar during maritime exercises off both coasts of the US for the next 6 months, letting the service sidestep a lawsuit that sought to protect whales near Hawaii from the noise.
Thus, the Navy is persisting in its intention to perform RIMPAC high-intensity, mid-frequency sonar exercises beginning this Tuesday. These sonar blasts caused 200 melon-headed whales to crowd into the shallow waters of Hanalei Bay in July 2004. Whales throughout the world have been stranded and have died on beaches after exposure to high-intensity mid-frequency sonar.* Sonar can interfere with the ability of whales and other marine mammals to navigate, avoid predators, find food and care for their young.
Since whales that swim in Hawaii waters year round such as the melon-head whales, dolphins and other marine life are harmed by these piercing and excruciatingly loud sonar blasts, they need YOU to speak out to protect them. Please help in demonstrating to the Navy that these harmful exercises are unacceptable.
Please go to Natural Resources Defense Council web site www.nrdc.org to see what other action you can take and listen to and watch the short video Lethal Sounds.
Mass stranding and mortality events associated with mid-frequency sonar exercises have occurred in North Carolina; Washington State; the Canary Islands; Madeira; the U.S. Virgin Islands; and in Greece. One of the best documented incidents occurred in the Bahamas in 2000 when 16 whales of three species stranded along 150 miles of shoreline as ships blasted the area with sonar. The U.S. Navy later acknowledged in an official report that its use of sonar was the likely cause of the stranding.
Mid-frequency sonar can emit continuous sound well above 235 decibels, an intensity roughly comparable to a Saturn V rocket at blastoff. Marine mammals have extraordinarily sensitive hearing, and there is no scientific dispute that intense sonar blasts can disturb, injure, and even kill them. Whales exposed to high-intensity mid-frequency sonar have repeatedly stranded and died; some bleeding from the eyes and ears, with severe lesions in their organ tissue. At lower intensities, sonar can interfere with the ability of marine mammals to navigate, avoid predators, find food, care for their young, and, ultimately, to survive. Some stranding reports may underestimate sonar harm because they do not account for whales that die at sea and are never found.
SUBJECT: KAUAI THREATENED AGAIN
SOURCE: DIANA LABEDZ DianaLaBedz@aol.com
The Whales are Crying
2 JULY 2006 - 2:30am HST
aerial view of PMRF Navy Base at 'Barking Sands" is strategic communication center for RIMPAC
by Diana LaBedz on 1 July 2006
Who: The Sierra Club, Surfrider Foundation
When: July 3, 2006 5:00pm
Where: In front of the PMRF Navy Base, Mana, HI Hwy. 50
Why: The Navy is having training maneuvers off our islands
The US Navy refuses to stop using mid frequency sonar. The Bush administration gave them the OK to go forward in spite of the evidence that sea life is being harmed. The sound is up to 10,000 times louder than a rocket launch. All it does is detect old diesel submarines. The sound tortures and often, kills whales, dolphins and other sea life that use their ears to find food, mate and protect themselves from harm. The lawsuit filed by Natural Resources Defense Council continues, with an application for temporary restraining order re sonar use in the RIMPAC exercises is still pending, based on violation of NEPA. We are waiting for a decision possibly on Monday.
Paul Tannenbaum, chair of the Kaua'i Surfrider Foundation Organizing Committee said, "Surfrider is proud to stand up to protect our marine mammals. Damaging their ears is like damaging our eyes." Judy Dalton, of the Sierra Club, Kaua'i Group, said, "The Sierra Club continues to be a strong defender of our marine environment. This type of sonar harms helpless animals and endangered species, while doing little or nothing to protect the security of Americans."
Photo opportunity: Giant inflatable Mother Whale and her baby. There will be signs and music.
There will be a candle light vigil at dark.
SUBJECT: KAUAI THREATENED AGAIN
SOURCE: JASON DONOVAN firstname.lastname@example.org
RIMPAC 2006 has begun
27 JUNE 2006 - 1:00am HST
harbor porpoise killed bysonar of USS Shoup in Haro Straight 5 March 2003 and examined by
NOAA Fisheries National Marine Mammal Laboratory (NMML) at Sand Point, Seattle, WA
by Hope Atz 26 June 2006
I was alerted about the following letter found on the upper right hand corner of the KKCR.org website (Kauai's Community Radio Station) by my dear friend Andrea Lecusay. She has urged me to share this letter with you in hopes that we will become aware of the situation at hand regarding RIMPAC and sonar testing and its impact on Hawaii's fragile Ecosystem--in specific the Melonhead Whales. I actually saw the whales last July nearly beach themselves in Hanalei Bay along with hundreds of other visitors and Kauai residents and was more than disturbed by their distress.
Your Honorable Senator Akaka, (Your Honorable Congressman Case or other reps)
I am deeply concerned about RIMPAC 06, a major sonar exercise that the Navy wants to conduct off the main islands this summer, and urge you to call on the Navy to take the greatest possible measures to reduce harm to Hawaii’s rich marine life.
Hawaiians witnessed the damage that Navy sonar can cause during the last RIMPAC exercise. On July 3, 2004, more than 150 melonheaded whales crowded into Hanalei Bay while the Navy was training with sonar offshore. It was by far the largest massstranding of melonheaded whales ever recorded in Hawaii, and a recent report from the National Oceanographic and atmospheric Administration (NOAA) identified RIMPAC as the “plausible, if not likely” cause.
Now the Navy wants to return to Hawaiian waters for another RIMPAC exercise. Despite some additional requirements, it would still be allowed to use the same dangerous sonar systems, at the same power levels, in the very same places associatedwith the Hanalei Bay strandings of 2004.
Yet there are many commonsense measures that the Navy can take to reduce harm during training exercises. For the sake of our environment, it is critical that the Navy conduct sonar training at the greatest possible distances from the islands, turn off its active sonar while transiting between training runs, and use sonar throughout the RIMPAC exercise at the lowest power levels.
I urge you to call on the Navy to prepare a full environmental impact statement for RIMPAC and to do everything possible to limit harm to Hawaii’s unique environment.
(your name here:)
Please--if you feel the urge to act, copy and paste this letter and send it to Congressman Ed Case at email@example.com, as well as firstname.lastname@example.org, or other state representatives or friends whom you feel would like to be made aware of what is happening on Kauai and in Hawaii and who may want to spread the word by forwarding this letter on to the those who can fight for our beautiful, intelligent whales and their health and wellbeing.
Many Thanks for your Time and Aloha