U.S. Navy is not being a good steward of the sea

As I read in The Associated Press article in The Maui News on Jan. 16, a lawsuit against the National Marine Fisheries Service was expanded to include the U.S. Navy due to its decision to proceed with training and testing exercises including the use of active sonar and underwater explosions anywhere in the Pacific Ocean around and between California and Hawaii.

This includes our whale sanctuary, the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument and many similar shelter facilities in California.

So, after exhaustive yearslong research and environmental analysis and public involvement by the Navy, including an environmental impact statement, the Navy readily concludes that these extreme noises are harmful and deadly to marine mammals. Yet it still will not allow any area of this huge expanse of ocean, including a whale calving area and marine sanctuary, to be excluded.

We all understand national security, but do not comprehend why this testing cannot safeguard a few microscopic areas of this massive area.

Science concludes that sound travels extremely well under water, so using the literally deafening sound anywhere near the whales and dolphins can cause irreparable damage and ultimately death. So, conducting these tests anywhere near these facilities is cause for concern, but refusing to allow even minimal refuge is unconscionable.

Shame on the stewards of the sea.

Mike Moran