Many congratulations to the National Resources Defense Council for their recent strides in protecting whales and other marine mammals from mid-frequency naval sonar.
Two weeks ago, NRDC attorneys raced to court to block the U.S. Navy from unleashing a barrage of ear-splitting sonar into the waters off Hawaii as part of a massive military training exercise. Whales exposed to mid-frequency sonar have repeatedly stranded and died on beaches around the world — but the Navy refused to adopt even common-sense measures during peacetime exercises to help protect marine life from this deadly threat.
In an infuriating attempt to avoid our lawsuit, the Navy took the unprecedented step — on the eve of the Fourth of July weekend — of declaring itself exempt from the primary U.S. law that requires measures to protect marine mammals. But the court sided with us and found that the Navy’s planned sonar use violated a second key environmental law as well, noting that NRDC had submitted “considerable convincing scientific evidence” of the dangers of sonar to marine life.
The judge blocked the navy’s exercises and ordered them to sit down with NRDC and come up with a set of measures to protect whales and dolphins from the brain-splitting blasts.
Go mammals (us and them)!