New Navy plan OKs increased use of sonar off NW coast; will it hurt orcas, whales?

The U.S. Navy has decided it will go ahead with underwater explosions and ear-piercing sonar in the Olympic National Marine Sanctuary despite protests by environmentalists that the training exercises would hurt orcas and other imperiled marine creatures.

Curiously, the decision has yet to prompt any news coverage that I can find. And yet we’re at a crucial juncture because the National Marine Fisheries Services is finalizing its proposed conditions for allowing the Navy to go forward with beefed-up training efforts in its Northwest Training Range Complex.

Earlier this month a bunch of environmental groups led by the Natural Resources Defense Council appealed to Northwesterner Jane Lubchenco, head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (and therefore NMFS), not to allow the Navy to harm orcas, whales, and other marine creatures.

Among their comments to Lubchenco:


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