Sally Jewell, Head, U.S. Department of the Interior, Kathryn Sullivan, Head, National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, John C. Cruden, Assistant Attorney General, U.S. Department of Commerce, and Barack Obama, President
Stop targeting a UNESCO World Heritage Site for elecromagnetic warfare training
The US Navy wants to use Olympic National Park, National Forests and the Pacific Coast Marine Sanctuary for electromagnetic warfare training.
Why is this important?
We live next to Olympic National Park, home to many protected and endangered species; this unique ecosystem became a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an International Biosphere Reserve decades ago. Now its ancient temperate rain forests, snow-capped mountains, rugged and pristine beaches could be assaulted by at least 112 of the world's loudest jets flying thousands of training exercises year-round, at altitudes as low as treetop level.
War games would also test new electromagnetic weaponry, triggering significant concerns about the potential health impacts and migratory patterns of birds, amphibians and sea creatures, as well as plants, micro-fauna and human beings. Several indigenous tribes call these lands home.
Waters of the Pacific Coast Marine Sanctuary would be assaulted by surface-to-air gunnery, missiles, underwater explosions, and mid-frequency sonar. Sonar can spell death to endangered whales and marine mammals, disrupting whale migration, breeding, nursing, breathing, and feeding—and sometimes causing ruptured eardrums and fatal internal hemorrhaging.
While military training is important to our national security, it can -- and should -- be conducted in suitable locations and ways that do no harm to endangered wildlife. We owe it to future generations to continue to protect these irreplaceable biological treasures.
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