June 14, 2015
Naval Facilities Engineering Command Northwest! ! ! ! 9/21/14 attention: Ms Amy Burt—GOA Supplemental EIS/OEIS Project Manager
1101 Tautog Circle, Suite 203
Silverdale, WA 98315-1101
This letter is submitted by the Alaska Quiet Rights Coalition (AQRC) and addresses our concerns with the Navy noise in the Gulf of Alaska. We have written previously (9/21/14) on this issue.
The Alaska Quiet Rights Coalition is a statewide non-profit group with a mission to protect natural quiet on our public lands and waters. Our mission includes representing the rights of wildlife to natural quiet.
As has been documented at length, many marine animals use sound for communication, location, food gathering and predator avoidance. Making noise is a direct assault on some survival mechanisms. Also as AQRC and others have repeatedly pointed out, the Marine Mammal Protection Act does not allow killing marine animals which the Navy exercises surely do. A healthy ecosystem depends on them.
AQRC support the requests made by many others to postpone the Navy exercises in the Gulf of Alaska to the fall and move the exercise further offshore.
AQRC asks you to value the values of non-military citizens and the interconnected ecosystem in all areas of Navy exercises during planning. There is the appearance that Navy decisions are already made prior to announcing superficial mitigations.
Brian Okonek, President
Alaska Quiet Rights Coalition