U.S. Navy plans sonar, electromagnetic weapons, explosives testing in the ocean

How much more destruction of the ocean can occur before a complete and permanent collapse of the ecosystem for all species takes place?

The United States Navy is planning a new 5-year training and weapons testing program in the ocean to begin in 2015 using sonar, electromagnetic weapons, and explosives. This particular one is for the Pacific Northwest. The comment period ends very soon.

The draft Environmental Impact Statement says the training is necessary to “protect the United States from its enemies, protect and defend the rights of the United States and its allies to move freely on the oceans, and provide humanitarian assistance and disaster relief to failed states.”

Do you agree?

See links at the bottom of the article below for how to submit official comments to the letter of authorization to the National Marine Fisheries Service (deadline Feb. 28) and to the Navy’s environmental impact statement (deadline Mar. 25). The article excerpted below is from Eureka Times-Standard.

Additional weapons testing is planned off Southern California and Hawaii, and in the Atlantic Ocean. There is extensive information at www.agriculturedefensecoalition.org under “U.S. Navy”.

This is in addition to the destruction of the Jeju Island ecosystem, selected as one of the Seven Wonders of Nature, and the location of 9 of UNESCO’s  66 Global Geoparks, for a U.S./South Korean military base. That is happening right now, and Jeju Island residents have been jailed for protesting.

Then there is the destruction of islands such as Vieques, and the proposed taking of Pagan Island for bombing and weapons test ranges.

There are also the 48,000 barrels of radioactive waste dumped by the U.S. Navy in the Pacific Ocean off the Farallon Islands (30 miles west of San Francisco) from the 1940s to 1970.
Sailors were told to shoot holes in the barrels that floated. The Navy also scuttled the contaminated U.S.S. Independence there which was used in atomic weapons experiments in the South Pacific.

The U.S. Navy also dumped thousands of tons of radioactive waste in the Atlantic Ocean from the U.S.S. Calhoun County, including two atomic bombs, a contaminated truck, and the ship itself in 1963. Floating barrels were also shot with holes until they sank.

And there is the massive destruction and contamination from atomic weapons tests which is with us still, spread throughout the earth, including the ocean.

How great is the destruction and ongoing damage to the ocean just from the United States military alone?

The former Soviet Union and Russia also has dumped nuclear waste, reactors, and ships including the K-37 submarine, with two reactors full of fuel, “which could re-achieve nuclear criticality and explode.” The Russian government released a report to the Norwegian government in 2011 documenting this, some of which the Russian government had not previously known.

European nations have been dumping toxics, including radioactive waste, off the coast of Somalia because of lax laws.

How many others? How many other nations are dumping, exploding, using destructive sonar, and otherwise killing and contaminating the ocean?

How much destruction will we, the people of the earth, continue to allow to this beautiful planet and incomparable ocean, by our navies, military, governments, and corporations?

It will not stop unless we stop it. Many have spoken out against these weapons and this destruction for many years. Have you? Are you an advocate for the earth and the ocean?

With your comments on the Pacific Northwest weapons testing, ask for

  • extension of the comment period for both documents, and
  • formal public hearings, as opposed to this informal open house format
  • hearings in Central and Southern California coastal communities and in San Francisco.

No more testing. No more dumping. No more weapons on or in the ocean.

No more.

Excerpts from:

Navy to hold Eureka meeting on training, weapons testing; area extends to the tip of Humboldt County

Will Houston/The Times-Standard
Posted:   02/15/2014 02:28:20 AM PST

The U.S. Navy is scheduled hold a meeting in Eureka in early March to allow members of the public to comment on the potential environmental impacts of the Navy’s five-year training and weapons testing plans along the North Coast.

During the training period — lasting from 2015 to 2020 — Navy personnel will conduct exercises and test a variety of weapons and equipment such as sonar technology, electromagnetic devices and explosives off the coasts of Alaska, Oregon, Washington and Northern California. The testing area extends to the tip of Humboldt County.

…The introduction of the draft environmental impact statement states the training is necessary to “protect the United States from its enemies, protect and defend the rights of the United States and its allies to move freely on the oceans, and provide humanitarian assistance and disaster relief to failed states.”

The document also states that the training and testing periods “have the potential to impact the environment,” which former U.S. Department of Agriculture crop loss analyst and environmental activist Rosalind Peterson said is an understatement.

What I’m concerned about along our coast is the way that experimental weapon testing won’t stop during whale and salmon migrations,” Peterson said. “I think it is imperative that we at least buy some time for the public comment period on this environmental impact statement.”

…”We are requesting that the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors, in order to give residents time to file public comments, also contact our California senators and Congressman Jared Huffman, requesting them to work toward gaining an extension of time to file public comments,” she said.

…The Marine Mammals Protection Act requires that the Navy receive permission from the National Marine Fisheries Service to conduct tests and training exercises which may potentially kill, harass or harm marine mammals. Peterson said the public comment period on the Navy’s request — which ends Feb. 28 — should also be extended.

”Most people don’t know what’s happening,” she said.

Multiple phone calls to the National Marine Fisheries Service northwest region headquarters were not returned by deadline.

If you go:

What:            Navy training and testing public meeting
When:            5 p.m. March 6
Where:           Red Lion Hotel Redwood Ballroom
1929 Fourth St., Eureka

For more information:www.NWTTEIS.com

On the Web: Submit comments on the Navy’s environmental impact statement at nwtteis.com/GetInvolved/HowCanICommentontheNWTTEISOEIS.aspx

On the Web: Submit public comments on the letter of authorization to the National Marine Fisheries Service at www.federalregister.gov/articles/2014/01/29/2014-01724/takes-of-marine-mammals-incidental- to-specified-activities-us-navy-training-and-testing-activities

Will Houston can be reached at 707-441-0504 or whouston@times-standard.com. Follow him on Twitter.com/Will_S_Houston.