The Navy plans to conduct large scale naval training exercises involving intense mid-frequency sonar pulses and explosives off the California coast anywhere from north of Dana Point to San Diego and extending more than 600 nautical miles out to sea for another five years from 2014 to 2019. These activities will result in more than 9.5 million instances of harm to whales and dolphins, including nearly 2,000 instances of permanent hearing loss or other permanent injury and more than 150 deaths.
Before these training exercises can begin, the Navy must ask the Coastal Commission to determine that these activities are consistent with California’s Coastal Management Program. The last time the Navy came before the Commission, they found that these training exercises could only be found consistent if the Navy implemented a set of measures to reduce harm to marine mammals. The Navy refused to comply with the Commission’s recommendations and conducted its training exercises without implementing the measures designed to protect California’s marine resources. The Navy is poised to do the same thing again.
We must bolster the resolve of the Commission and ensure that it continues to stand up to the Navy. Please help us tell the California Coastal Commission that the Navy must do more to protect our coastal resources. Please help us by contacting the Coastal Commission (details below) and/or attending the hearing on March 8th at 8:30am at The Bahia Resort Hotel, located at 988 West Mission Bay Drive.
Email your comments to NavySonar@Coastal.ca.gov and reference Agenda Number CD-008-13 (Navy, Southern California).
The staff report will be posted by COB on Friday, February 22 and can be found here by scrolling down to Agenda Item Number CD-008-13 (Navy, Southern California) on Friday, March 8th and clicking on the link for the report: http://www.coastal.ca.gov/mtgcurr.html.
Additional background materials on the Navy’s Sonar and Munitions Program and the CCC can be found here: http://www.coastal.ca.gov/fedcd/hstt/hstt.html.