An analysis of the United States Navy's proposed undersea warfare training range
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In October 2005, the United States Navy issued a Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the construction of an undersea warfare training range off the North Carolina coast. Exercises conducted in this proposed range will involve the use of mid-frequency sonar, the known cause of one mass whale stranding in the Bahamas, and the suspected cause of at least twelve other stranding events that have occurred in the past decade world-wide. In their statement, the Navy indicates the potential for limited harm to marine life. Fearing an increase in future strandings, scientists, environmentalists, and the general public have questioned the scope of the Navy’s predictions for biological damage. My review suggests that the Navy does not fully acknowledge the negative effects the training range could have, and does not appropriately use the best available scientific information. In light of this, I conclude that the Navy has not fulfilled the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act.
DepartmentNicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences
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