Help protect California's coast from Navy sonar

Natural Resources Defense Council's

CALIFORNIA ACTIVIST NETWORK ACTION ALERT

NRDC's California Activist Network was formed to mobilize and provide action tools to Californians and others concerned with protecting the state's extraordinary wealth of natural treasures and the health of its citizens.

December 13, 2006

Urgent alert: Help protect California's coast from Navy sonar
Take action now at //www.nrdconline.org/campaign/nrdcaction_121306

California has a crucial opportunity this week to protect whales and other marine life along its coast from Navy sonar, and we need your help to ensure that this opportunity is not missed. The Navy will appear this Friday before the California Coastal Commission in San Francisco, asking for the commission's approval to conduct major sonar exercises off the southern California coast. This will be the commission's first-ever opportunity to weigh in on mid-frequency sonar training.

As you may already know, whales around the world have been found dead or dying following encounters with mid-frequency military sonar. Although the Navy itself has acknowledged the lethal impacts of this technology, which floods vast areas of the ocean with ear-splitting noise, it has made no assurances that it will take common-sense steps necessary to protect marine life. The Navy fails to explain, for example, how it will protect migrating gray whales along California's coast; how it will conduct exercises at night or in other conditions of low visibility; or whether it will enforce robust "safety zones" around sonar vessels to avoid exposing whales to dangerous sound. The Coastal Commission has required these and other protective measures of the Navy and other noise-producers in the past, and it should demand no less here.

== What to do == Send a message right away urging the California Coastal Commission to do all it can to protect whales and other marine life from harmful Navy sonar.

== Contact information == You can send a message to the Coastal Commission directly from NRDC's Earth Action Center at //www.nrdconline.org/campaign/nrdcaction_121306 Or use the contact information and sample letter below to send your own message.

If you live in the San Francisco area and would like to do more, please attend the California Coastal Commission public hearing this Friday morning (details below) and speak out to make sure the Navy protects marine life when it trains with sonar off California's coast. NRDC attorney Cara Horowitz will be speaking during the hearing, and will be available to answer questions if you choose to attend.

== When and Where == Friday, December 15, 9:00am Hyatt Regency Embarcadero
5 Embarcadero Plaza San Francisco

California Coastal Commission, Att'n: Mark Delaplaine
45 Fremont Street Suite 2000 San Francisco, CA 94105-2219 Email: mdelaplaine @coastal.ca.gov


== Sample letter ==

Subject: Protect California's coast from Navy sonar

Dear Mr. Delaplaine and members of the commission,

I urge the Coastal Commission to do all it can to protect whales and other marine life from harmful Navy sonar training along California's coast.

This is the commission's first-ever opportunity to weigh in on the Navy's mid-frequency sonar training. As you know, whales around the world have been found dead or dying following encounters with mid-frequency military sonar, and the Navy itself has acknowledged the lethal impacts of this technology, which floods vast areas of the ocean with ear-splitting noise. Although training like this has been conducted for decades, we are only now beginning to understand the serious impacts it is having on whales and other coastal resources around the world, and in our own backyard.

That's why the commission must not approve the Navy's proposed training without assurances that the Navy will take all steps necessary to protect marine life. In its application, the Navy fails to explain, for example, how it will protect migrating gray whales along California's coast; how it will protect whales during nighttime exercises or in other conditions of low visibility; or whether it will enforce robust "safety zones" around sonar vessels to avoid exposing whales to harmful sound. The commission has required these and other protective measures of the Navy in the past, and I urge it to stand strong and demand no less here.

Sincerely,

[Your name and address]

Please also forward this message to your friends and co-workers who live in California, and urge them to contact the Coastal Commission as well.

Thank you!



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