Navy Whale Alert  
Navy assault on whales could begin November 1! 

October 24, 2002

From NRDC:  Urgent Call to Action to Help Save the Whales and Dolphins:

I am contacting you via email because NRDC is facing an imminent 
legal and financial deadline in a case of extraordinary importance. 
Because you've done so much to help us protect wildlands and wildlife 
I thought you'd want to know about this critical situation.

Just days from now, NRDC attorneys will appear in U.S. Federal Court 
and seek to stop the U.S. Navy from operating a new and extremely 
dangerous sonar system that would blast hundreds of thousands of 
square miles of ocean habitat with noise so intense it can maim, 
deafen or even kill whales at close range. 

NRDC is racing to court because the Bush administration has just 
given its approval for the Navy to begin deploying this Low Frequency 
Active (LFA) sonar system across 75 percent of the world's oceans. 
Even worse, the Navy intends to begin operations of this frightening 
new technology as early as November 1st!

We need your immediate help.  Please go to
right now to make an online emergency contribution that will help us 
fight this critical legal battle.

Marine scientists are warning that this sonar system may threaten the 
very survival of entire populations of whales, some already teetering 
on the brink of extinction.

As opposed to traditional "passive" sonar, which locates submarines 
by listening for sound in the water, the new "active" sonar uses 
underwater loudspeakers to blast the ocean with an effective noise 
level of 235 decibels and then waits for a response. At close range, 
the shock waves are so intense they can destroy whales' eardrums, 
cause their lungs to hemorrhage, and even kill. Further from the 
source, LFA noise still can result in permanent hearing loss in 
marine mammals after a single transmission, and cause whales to 
swerve from their migration paths.

The dangers are hardly theoretical. Two years ago, the mere testing 
of high-intensity Navy sonar in mid-frequency range caused a mass 
stranding of whales in the Bahamas. Whales from at least three 
different species died, their inner ears bleeding from the explosive 
power of the sonar signal. 

Does the Navy have the right to conduct a giant uncontrolled 
experiment on our oceans and every living creature in them?

The Bush administration seems to think so. It has issued a permit 
that exempts the Navy from having to obey the Marine Mammal 
Protection Act, in effect giving the military a blank check to harass 
and injure whales and dolphins at will.

We think that's unconscionable and illegal. But we must have your 
immediate help if we are to prevail in court. We urgently need to 
raise significant new funds in order to cover litigation expenses and 
stop the imminent deployment of deadly, noise-producing sonar.

Again, I urge you to help by going to
right now and making an online emergency contribution. 

Please join us in stopping the U.S. Navy before it unleashes this 
technological menace on the world's oceans. With your help, we can 
make sure that no more whales have to suffer and die from high-power 
sonar. Thank you.


John H. Adams
Natural Resources Defense Council


BioGems: Saving Endangered Wild Places
A project of the Natural Resources Defense Council

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