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ACTION ALERT: Stop the Navy’s Noise!


November 9, 2005
Mark J. Palmer / International Marine Mammal Project

On November 16, the California Coastal Commission and the federal Marine Mammal Commission will consider permitting the use of high-powered Navy sonar systems off the Pacific Coast. These systems are known to harrass, injure and kill whales and other marine mammals. Letters from the public are needed by November 14.

Dear LFA Activists: This is a special alert for California folks. (The rest of you can go back to sleep....)

The California Coastal Commission will be considering possible comments to the federal Marine Mammal Commission concerning ocean noise impacts on marine mammals. The CCC meets Wednesday, November 16th in Los Angeles.

BACKGROUND: The federal Marine Mammal Commission (MMC) established a committee of interest groups to address recommendations for Congress to deal with ocean noise issues and impacts on marine mammals. The advisory committee consisted of representatives from government (including the Navy), industry and environmental groups. However, the advisory committee could not reach consensus.

As a result, the MMC is writing up their own staff recommendations; other organizations and interest groups can also submit recommendations to the MMC for consideration by Congress. The California Coastal Commission is one government entity that is considering recommendations at their upcoming meeting.

LETTERS ARE NEEDED TO THE COMMISSION!

ASK THAT YOUR COMMENTS BE ADDED TO THE RECORD OF THE NOV. 16th HEARING, ITEM 27(a) on the AGENDA.

(1) URGE the California Coastal Commission to EXPRESS DEEP CONCERN about the serious impacts loud ocean noise (such as military sonars, offshore oil drilling and seismic oil prospecting, ship traffic, and other human-caused sources of loud underwater noise) can have on marine mammals, especially within the California Coastal Zone.

(2) REMIND the Commission of the number of stranding incidents around the world involving dead whales and dolphins apparently stricken by very loud noises from military sonars and seismic testing.

(3) NOTE for the Commission that, while the Marine Mammal Commission is mainly interested in impacts on whales, dolphins, seals and sea lions, other marine species (especially commercial fisheries) are likely suffering from loud noise pollution, which impacts the entire marine ecosystem.

(4) ENCOURAGE the Commission to request the MMC and Congress address ocean noise pollution NOW with specific steps to REDUCE INTENSE SOURCES OF OCEAN NOISE, instead of waiting for yet more research studies or pretending that a problem doesn't exist.

Address:
Mr. Peter Douglas, Executive Director
California Coastal Commission
45 Fremont Street, Suite 2000
San Francisco, CA 94105-2219
(415) 904-5200
FAX (415) 904-5400

IMPORTANT NOTE:
Please make sure to mail or fax your comments in time to reach the CCC office NO LATER THAN Monday, Nov. 14th, for addition to the record of the hearing on Wednesday, November 16th.

For those who can attend the hearing, the Ocean Noise recommendations to the Marine Mammal Commission is Item 27(a) on the agenda (probably in the afternoon):

California Coastal Commission Hearing
10:00 A.M., WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2005
Westin Hotel (at LAX Airport)
5400 W. Century Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90045
(310) 216-5858

THANKS FOR YOUR HELP! PLEASE PASS THIS ALERT ON TO OTHERS!

Mark J. Palmer is Assistant Director of the International Marine Mammal Project and Director, Wildlife Alive a project of Earth Island Institute , 300 Broadway, Suite 28, Francisco, CA 94133. (415) 788-3666 x139. (415) 788-7324 (fax). www.earthisland.org


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