[MARMAM] Letter to editor on Oceanus article

Jasny, Michael mjasny at nrdc.org
Fri Apr 10 11:58:52 PDT 2009


The following letter to the editor, replying to the same Oceanus article
that Naomi Rose just responded to, has been posted on the Oceanus
website (www.whoi.edu/oceanus/viewArticle.do?id=6941):

 

 

To the Editor:

 

Had Oceanus contacted us, we could have corrected inaccuracies that
undermine the force of your story ("Supreme Court Weighs in on Whales
and Sonar").  

 

In fact, environmental enforcement has been responsible for millions of
dollars in research on noise in the ocean.  The Marine Mammal Research
Program under Scripps' Acoustic Thermometry of Ocean Climate project in
1995, the ONR-funded Scientific Research Program regarding Low Frequency
Active sonar in 1997, and, most recently, almost $15 million in new
research on both marine mammal acoustics and basic ecology under a
settlement with the Navy in December 2008 - all of these have been
undertaken or expanded in direct response to environmental advocacy, as
Dr. Tyack, who was involved in both the ATOC and LFA research
initiatives, can attest.  

 

Moreover, without this advocacy, the Navy would almost certainly still
be training illegally with sonar around the world, with too little
regard for marine impacts - just as it had for decades before
environmental advocates forced them to respond.  Time after time, the
Navy has rejected meaningful safeguards, and in case after case the
federal courts have found them in violation of the law.  Although in
Winter v. NRDC the Supreme Court, based on the Court majority's view of
the public interest, lifted two of the six mitigation conditions imposed
by the lower courts, it did not challenge their legal judgment that the
Navy had violated the law nor did it accept the Navy's astonishing claim
that the President, at the Navy's request, could overrule a federal
court.

 

All of us are fortunate to live in a nation of laws, but our
environmental laws are meaningful only if enforced.  To portray
environmental advocacy as hindering scientific research, as your article
does, is not only factually inaccurate but fundamentally at odds with
the longstanding commitment of the scientific community to conservation
of our oceans.

 

Joel Reynolds

Natural Resources Defense Council

 

 

 

 

Michael Jasny

Senior Policy Analyst

Natural Resources Defense Council

4479 W. 5th Avenue

Vancouver, BC  V6R1S4

tel. 604-736-9386

mob. 310-560-5536

fax 310-434-2399

mjasny at nrdc.org

 

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