Environmental Effects

The Olympic National Park and outlying forests have been coined “the last quiet place in America” and thanks to the work of One Square Inch and the acoustic research of Gordon Hempton, the Olympic Peninsula is revered globally as a silent mecca. Travelers from around the world journey to the region to experience the stillness and tranquility of the last living rain forest in the United States.

 

The encroachment of jet noise from military expansion at Naval Air Station Whidbey (NAS) is dramatically changing the regional sound-scape. As local residents and visitors are quickly noticing, with more EA-18G Growler Jets comes much more acoustic pollution. The Navy wants to add an additional 36 Electronic War Jamming Jets to their regional fleet. The proposed Electronic War Training Range calls for training 290 days per year at up to 16 hours per day (4,640 hours a year).

 

Studies link acoustic pollution to an increase in blood pressure and release of stress hormones in humans. Species, such as the endangered Northern Spotted Owl are far more susceptible to these effects of increased noise. If you reside within the region and need to submit a noise complaint, visit our ACTION! Page.

 

PLEASE TAKE A MOMENT TO READ THIS REPORT ON SPOTTED OWLS.

 

Relevant Articles:

 

From the United States Environmental Protection Agency, EPA: 
Health Effects of Acoustic Pollution: 

 

More information on articles related to this can be found here. More from collaborators can be found here.

The Olympic Peninsula’s ecological diversity includes temperate rain forest, freshwater rivers and lakes, the Olympic Mountain Range, coastal lands, the Pacific Ocean, and an intricately connected biological network which is home to many species, both threatened and endangered. Contained within the region is The Olympic National Park, the Olympic National Forest, indigenous tribal settlements, farms and orchards, sea ports, and a variety of unique communities. A registered UNESCO World Heritage site, the Olympic National Park is a highlight of the region.

 

Washington State residents love to be outdoors. People come from all over the world to enjoy the natural offerings of the Pacific Northwest. Developing military presence in the Olympic National Forest and Olympic National Park will make negative impacts on tourism and property value in the region (Note:  The 2015 Economic Analysis of Outdoor Recreation in WA State from Earth Economics). Preserving our wild places is vital to the health of our future. It also impacts the strength of our state economy. The Olympic National Park attracts over 3 million visitors a year!

 

 

The Olympic Peninsula is home to the last living rain forest in the United States. With groves of old growth forests comes some of the purest air in the world. With the expansion of military presence over the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Olympic National Park, and surrounding Olympic National Forests, air pollution is an extremely significant concern. For more on the toxicity of emissions from jet fuel see below.

 

Boyle, Karleen A. “Evaluating Particulate Emissions from Jet Engines: Analysis of Chemical and Physical Characteristics and Potential Impact on Coastal Environments and Human Health,” Transportation and Research Board of the National Academies, January 18, 2007.  http://trb.metapress.com/content/t488051711146111/

 

By law the US Military must abide with NEPA compliance to not harm the thousands of migratory birds who traverse or reside within the region. For more on this:
Taylor, Willie R., Director of Environmental Policy and Compliance, U.S. Dept of Interior (ER 14/0001) (ER 14/0004) to Veenendaal, Eli, National Telecommunications and Information Administration, US Dept of Commerce.
RE: NEPA and Exec Order 13186 Responsibilities of Federal Agencies to Protect Migratory Birds.

 

More information on articles related to this can be found here. More from collaborators can be found here

Marine life in the Pacific Ocean and Salish Sea suffer greatly from the use of sonar testing and underwater military war training exercises. Cargo and seafaring traffic also imapcts marine life.

Update: On April 1, 2015 Federal Court Ruled Naval War Training in Pacific Ocean in VIOLATION of Marine Protection. This applies to California and Hawaii. Please take action and let us ensure ALL marine life is protected in the Pacific.

Belllow is a list of articles relating to this issue:

Noise Made Humans: Bad News Animals and Cacophony Sounds from Science News (February 2015)

The Use of Biosonar, Survivng in the Dark from Port O Call Publishing (February 2015)

The Inside Story of a Landmark Environmental Lawsuit, A Conversation with the author of “War of the Whales” (July 2014)

Resident Whales and Noise Pollution:

More information on articles related to this can be found here. More from collaborators can be found here

 

What is an Electromagnetic Field? Here the World Health Organization explains.

What is Electronic Warfare? Here the US Navy explains.
The Electromagnetic Spectrum is illustrated below:
Electromagnetic-Spectrum
More articles:
The Navy has not provided studies for the effects of their Electronic Warfare Testing, therefore mobile device research provided below represents a handful of scholarly articles expressing health concerns from low electromagnetic frequencies:

More information on articles related to this can be found here. More from collaborators can be found here

Programmatic Biological Opinion for the Olympic National Forest.

This is the Programmatic Biological Opinion issued by the US Fish and Wildlife Service for the Olympic National Forest. It covers a range of activities that could affect threatened and endangered species including the northern spotted owl and marbled murrelet. Please note that  military training is neither mentioned nor covered in this Biological Opinion. Programmatic Biological Opinion for the Olympic National Forest (click to view/download PDF)

 

Here we feature two Endangered Species that would be greatly impacted by the proposed EW Range in the Olympic National Forest:

 

Status and Trend of Nesting Habitat for the Endangered Marbled Murrelet

Part of Northwest Forest Plan Status & Trend Marbled Murrelet (click to view/download PDF)

 

Status and Trends of the Endangered Northern Spotted Owl Populations and Habitats

Part of Northwest Forest Plan Status & Trend Spotted Owls (click to view/download PDF)

Barnard, Jeff. “Feds to Consider Endangered Species Listing for Spotted Owl,” Seattle Times, April 8, 2015.

 

Mice are a much needed species in the Olympic National Forest and many species rely on mice for survival. Threatening mice would also put the species that rely on them for food at risk.

 

 

Effects of extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields( ELF-EMF) exposure on B6C3F1 Mice

“Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine,” May 5, 2015.

 

More information on articles related to this can be found here. More from collaborators can be found here.

“To be hopeful in trying times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness.

What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places — and there are so many — where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction.

And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand Utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is happening around us, is itself a marvelous victory.”

Howard Zinn