Dear Fellow NRDC Earth Activist,
We wanted to pass along to you our message about the Navy's plans to
blast the world's oceans with a dangerous new sonar system, and the
urgent need for us to fight back. As an NRDC Earth Action subscriber
you've most likely already taken action on behalf of the whales and
marine mammals threatened by this perilous new technology -- and we
thank you. Now, please do us the great favor of forwarding our message
to everyone you know -- your friends, family, co-workers, discussion
groups -- encouraging them to join us in this critical battle.
The three of us have never teamed up like this before. But we all
share something in common: a deep love of the ocean and marine
mammals. That's why we're very disturbed by a U.S. military program
that, if approved, will soon be bombarding millions of whales and
dolphins around the world with intense noise.
You may have read about the U.S. Navy's "Low-Frequency Active" (LFA)
sonar program. The military has been testing this new, high-powered
system in secret for years. Now, the Navy wants to deploy it across 80
percent of our planet's oceans. LFA sonar is designed to detect enemy
submarines by flooding vast expanses of the oceans with sound. Leaving
aside the military wisdom of this sonar -- which is still in dispute
-- the environmental dangers are becoming increasingly clear.
Here's the problem: LFA noise is billions of times more intense than
that known to disturb whale migration and communication. Whales and
dolphins depend on their sensitive hearing for survival. To put it
simply, a deaf whale is a dead whale. Deafening noise from the LFA
system will interfere with the vital biological activities of marine
mammals. Scientists fear that long-term exposure to LFA could push
entire populations over the brink into extinction.
Inevitably, there will also be marine mammals unlucky enough to swim
too close to LFA loudspeakers. Imagine an acoustic wave so powerful
that, even at substantial distances, it can destroy your hearing,
cause your lungs or ears to hemorrhage, or even kill you.
We've already seen a glimpse of the resulting carnage. Last year,
whales from four different species stranded themselves and died on
beaches across the northern Bahamas during a Navy military exercise.
All but one of the dead animals examined by researchers had suffered
hemorrhaging around the inner ear -- the telltale sign of acoustic
trauma. The U.S. Navy's own report concluded that it is "highly
likely" that the stranding was caused by the use of mid-frequency
active sonar. But despite this tragic event, the Navy now wants to
deploy LFA, the most extensive active sonar system ever devised.
We know that different frequencies will affect different marine
mammals and that the lower the frequency, the farther it penetrates
the ocean. We believe it is unconscionable to expose marine mammals
around the world to more high intensity sonar. If you agree, then
please join us in taking immediate action; it will take you only a few
Just go to http://www.nrdcaction.org/index.asp?step=2&item=518. The
Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Ocean Futures Society
(OFS) have set up this web page to make it easy for you to send
electronic messages of protest to your U.S. senators and
representative. Congress is now deciding the Navy's funding for next
year -- tell them to "Turn Off LFA Sonar" by cutting off its funding.
And please forward this message to your family, friends and
colleagues. NRDC used web activism to help generate a million messages
of protest to Mitsubishi and, just last year, stopped the company from
destroying the last unspoiled birthing ground of the Pacific gray
Congress cannot ignore millions of us. Together, we can keep whales
and dolphins safe from high-powered sonar.
Thank you for your time and your concern.
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