Theodore's World: Environmentalists Fear Navy Tests Will Hurt Whales

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December 27, 2010

Environmentalists Fear Navy Tests Will Hurt Whales

Environmentalists fear Navy tests will hurt whales



Environmentalists are worried that plans to expand Navy testing off the California, Oregon and Washington coasts will pose a danger for whales.

A proposal for increased sailor training and weapons testing, as well as underwater training minefield for submarines in the Navy’s Northwest Training Range, have been approved by the Obama administration.

The area – 122,400 nautical square miles of space, equal roughly to the size of California – has been used for Navy training since before World War II.

The Bellingham Herald reports environmentalists are concerned about plans to expand training there.

In a letter to the Navy, the Natural Resources Defense Council said the plan “would pose significant risk to whales, fish and other wildlife.” They are concerned about hazardous materials in the water from both spent and unexploded weapons.

Environmentalists worry about the safety of the 150 orcas known to live in the Puget Sound and along the Pacific coastline from Washington to California.

“They’re all very susceptible,” said Howard Garrett, the president of Orca Network, a nonprofit group based in Washington state. “The Navy is single-minded and they’re focused, and the whales are very much a secondary concern to them.”

The group is among the many opponents in Washington state and California lining up against the Navy’s plan.

Navy officials have been assuring the public that the marine life will be safe.

"We are not even permitted to kill even one marine mammal. ... What people don't seem to understand is we share the environment with everybody," said Sheila Murray, a Navy spokeswoman. "It's our environment, too. Of course we want to take care of it. The Navy goes to great lengths to protect the marine environment."

Of the Navy's expanded operations at the site, she said: "This training is important. It allows Naval forces to be prepared."

The Natural Resources Defense Council worries the Navy will release a variety of hazardous materials into coastal waters, including "thousands of rounds of spent ammunition and unexploded ordnance containing chromium, chromium compounds, depleted uranium" and more.

The council also believes the mid-frequency sonar the Navy uses to detect submarines and underwater objects interferes with whales' ability to navigate and communicate, and that the chronic noise can interfere with whales' brain development and depress reproductive rates.


Wild Thing's comment........

The fact that this area has been used before and goes way back makes me wonder why the enviro's are all in a hissy fit about it. Those idiots don’t care about whales. The mere presence of anything military is enough to set them off.

The consequence of not training is having a military that can't defend the country. The lives lost will be blood on the hands of the environmentalists.

Posted by Wild Thing at December 27, 2010 04:47 AM


Other than whining, crying and protesting I wonder what sacrifices these environmentalists make for anyone else or even for their movement. They have been very successful, along with liberal politicos in keeping America dependent on foreign oil. Now they want to be sure our military is dysfunctional. To hell with environmentalists.

Posted by: TomR,armed in Texas at December 27, 2010 10:19 AM

The environuts are only intersted in creating controversy and thereby getting the attention of "Politically Correct'" politicians.

It is all about power and control. They are particularly influential in Washington, Oregon and California.

Over the years they have caused serious damage and loss of income to those involved in the logging industry, the farmers and ranchers in California and Oregon who depend on diverted river water for survival, commercial fishermen, just to name a few. All of this is of course passed on to the consumer in the form of higher prices for goods produced.

Basically they are anti-capitalism. In this touchy feely society in which we live they have managed to gain an inordinate amount of influence. Unfortuately there is no end in sight for their intrusions.

Posted by: Sean at December 27, 2010 10:24 AM

The last 2 months of 58 to 1960 I was on board the USS Frank Knox DDR 742 we used up a bunch of Depth Charges and anti sub rockets and the complaints were the same as now.. Never did see a Whale
Surface dead… I did my part here in Idaho in 2009 Bought a wolf tag but never saw one..There is a
Lot of bumper stickers with the slogan “Canadian wolves, smoke a pack a day…” We tend to be a
A little different in Idaho…Makes the tree huggers whine big time….

Posted by: gator at December 27, 2010 11:18 AM

That's what she said, I da ho. Great country out there. Sorry couldn't resist.

Posted by: Mark at December 27, 2010 06:08 PM

Ditto to all your comments.

Mark, haha

Posted by: Wild Thing at December 28, 2010 11:14 PM