Take Action! US Navy Public Meetings in Mendocino County. Ukiah Meeting Today 12/9/10 1-3 pm


From ROSALIND PETERSON
Redwood Valley

NOAA PUBLIC MEETING IN UKIAH

SAVE 11.7 MILLION MARINE MAMMALS

NATIONAL OCEANIC & ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2010     1-3 P.M.

BOARD OF SUPERVISORS CHAMBERS, 501 LOW GAP ROAD, UKIAH, CA 95482

U.S. CONGRESSMAN MIKE THOMPSON HAS GRACIOUSLY INVITED DR. JANE LUBCHENCO, NOAA ADMINISTRATOR, TO UKIAH TO SPEAK ABOUT MARINE SPACIAL PLANNING & TO ANSWER QUESTIONS FROM THE PUBLIC WITH REGARD TO THEIR CONCERNS ABOUT ISSUES IMPACTING NORTHERN CALIFORNIA.

On November 10, 2010, NOAA approved the “taking” (harming) of marine mammals in Northern California by issuing a permit to the U.S. Navy (NWTRC-Northern California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho).  In addition, NOAA gave the U.S. Navy a Letter of Authorization which allows them to begin 5-Year Warfare testing and exercises without protecting any National Marine Sanctuaries, fish, breeding habitats, biologically sensitive areas or marine reserves.

Many residents in Northern California are requesting that NOAA rescind the permit and the Letter of Authorization to the Navy until public workshops can be held in Northern California, where our marine biologists and other scientists, along with the EPA, can participate in order to protect our biologically sensitive areas, our fish, and our marine mammals.  The fishing and tourism industry also depends on these areas and the loss of fish and marine mammals could disrupt these vital local industries.

The Navy plans involve SHOCK & AWE weapons testing of missiles, new weapons systems, sonar (during gray whale migrations), bomb blasts, use of toxic chemicals, ocean dumping of toxic chemicals, explosive detonations, gunnery and bombing exercises, along our Northern California coastline and over land areas within the NWTRC.

In a Letter from several Senators including Senator Dianne Feinstein to NOAA-June 17, 2009:

“…In many regions, the Navy plans to increase the number of its exercises or expand the areas in which they may occur, and virtually every coastal state will be affected. Some exercises may occur in the nation’s most biologically sensitive marine habitats, including National Marine Sanctuaries and breeding habitat(s)…In all, the Navy anticipates more than 2.3 million takes (significant disruptions in marine mammal foraging, breeding, and other essential behaviors) per year, or 11.7 million takes over the course of a five-year permit…”

With respect to military readiness activities, the MMPA defines ‘‘harassment’’ as: “…(i) any act that injures or has the significant potential to injure a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild [Level A Harassment]; or (ii) any act that disturbs or is likely to disturb a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild by causing disruption of natural behavioral patterns, including, but not limited to, migration, surfacing, nursing, breeding, feeding, or sheltering, to a point where such behavioral patterns are abandoned or significantly altered [Level B Harassment]…training activities may expose some of the marine mammals present in the area to sound from various mid-frequency and high-frequency active tactical sonar sources or to pressure from underwater detonations…”
U.S. Congressman Thompson has been working heroically to protect many of these areas.  It is time that the public weigh in on this topic and attend this meeting on Thursday, December 9th, to request that NOAA rescind the permit that they issued to the U.S. Navy until we can adequately protect these ocean areas and the marine life in them.

NOAA mitigation measures that protect our marine mammals only 9% of the time are inadequate.  And the use of sonar during the gray whale migration is not acceptable today.

For more information Contact:  Rosalind Peterson
The Agriculture Defense Coalition  (707) 485-7520 or
E-Mail: info@californiaskywatch.com

Website:         http://www.agriculturedefensecoalition.org/?q=us-navy

If you cannot attend the NOAA meeting in Ukiah please send your comments and questions in an E-Mail to me – I will print out and deliver to Dr. Lubchenco at the meeting.

Attend the U.S. Navy Public Meeting on November 16, 2010 – 5-7 P.M. Pentecost Hall, 822 Stewart Street, Fort Bragg, CA

Attend the U.S. Navy Public Meeting on November 15, 2010 – 5-7 P.M. Warfinger Building, Eureka, CA
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