Navy Sonar Tests Threaten Populations of Mammals off the Californian and Hawaiian Coasts

Target: Admiral Jonathan William Greenert, Chief of U.S. Naval Operations

Goal: Protect mammals off the coast of southern California and Hawaii by restricting naval sonar testing and exercises.

According to its own estimates, the United States Navy figures that over the course of the next five years nearly 16,000 mammals will endure permanent hearing loss as a direct result of its underwater sonar testing and training exercises off the coasts of Hawaii and southern California. Because mammals like dolphins and whales largely depend on their inner ear functions (as well as their ability to hear) to hunt, communicate and see, there is no doubt that this testing will result in numerous unnecessary deaths.

What is more, the Navy also projects that over 5 million instances of temporary hearing loss and almost 2,000 deaths will occur during this same five-year period. The purpose of these sonar exercises is for the Navy to test its methods in gathering an accurate idea of the underwater environment—taking sonar devices to hunt for underwater submarines and other immersed objects.

As can be imagined, activists are already up in arms about the Navy’s newest revelations and are demanding that these sonar tests be halted or, at the very least, restricted to areas in which there will be the least amount of damage. Zak Smith of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), who attended a public meeting hosted by the Navy in San Diego, predicts that if the projected tests go on unchallenged then nothing short of a massacre will be in store.

“There aren’t other government agencies out there proposing activities that will have anywhere near this level of impact on wildlife, much of which is endangered,” Smith explains. “The Navy seems very proud of the fact that it has conducted such a ‘comprehensive’ (in its opinion) analysis of impacts. But where’s the pride in its development of alternatives that allow it to achieve its training and testing needs, while dramatically reducing the impact to whales and dolphins?”


Dear Admiral Greenert,

Tests and exercises scheduled to take place off the coasts of Hawaii and southern California over the next five years are projected (under the Navy’s own estimates) to injure and kill thousands of animals within the areas. There is no denying the damaging effects that sonar blasts have on cetaceans like dolphins and whales; already these activities are believed largely responsible for the deaths of thousands of dolphins off the coast of Peru—among other places.

In order to lessen the impact on the environment, I urge you to seek alternative methods for testing these sonar devices. By steering clear of areas densely populated by the animals, the harm can be minimized.

With your resources, it is possible to adequately continue with the routine exercises as well as ensure the safety of animals in the area; I urge you to do what is necessary to protect these animals.


[Your Name Here]

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  1. Carey Burns says:

    We are one! Open your heart and feel, do wonderful things that are of love and liberation… no more suffering,Wake up!

  2. “The purpose of these sonar exercises is for the Navy to test its methods in gathering an accurate idea of the underwater environment—taking sonar devices to hunt for underwater submarines and other immersed objects.”

    Uh-huh. The government is testing sonar that causes whales injury to the point that they beach themselves to escape from it so that they (the government) can ‘get an accurate idea of the underwater enviroment’. Yeah, I don’t buy it. I’m sure sonar can be used as a weapon- and if something can be used as a weapon we can be sure the military will do so.

    • shawndrell says:

      I agree,I mean how many animals have gone extinct because of humans?..and just to think i wanted to go to the navy

  3. Why is it that goverments can do whatever they like regardless of the impact to everything else, the total disregard to the animals that are unfortunate to be stuck on this planet with us don’t stand a chance. People sitting in a comfy chair behind a desk wielding their power with a phone call or memo maybe even an email get to decide which species lives and which one dies ! How is this justifiable ? I would like to think that by signing this petition that I will be making a difference but the reality is somewhat different. I hope that the earth of the future will be a better place for the rest of the animals that live here. But the nature of man is one of destruction we can’t co exist as a species sucessfully so what chane does anything else have.

  4. I think what the goverment is doing is terrible! They have no respect for nature and the creatures that live in it! They should be ashamed of what they’ve done, and what do they need all these weapons for anyways!

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