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.
- Castleman, Amanda, “The Quietest Place in the US,” BBC, January 15, 2015.
Hempton, Gordon and Krista Tippit, “The Last Quiet Place” On Being, December 2014.
Hogden, Kathleen, Anthony Atchley, Robert Bernhard, “Low Frequency Noise Study” MIT, April 2007.
- JGL Acoustics, Inc.,“Whidbey Island Military Jet Noise Measurements,” June 10, 2013.
- Monson, Michael, “Navy 18G Growlers Over Patmore Ballpark, Coupeville, WA, Harming Children’s Hearing,” Youtube, April 25, 2013.
Nuwer, Rachel, “The Last Place on Earth Without Human Noise” BBC Future, January 2014.
Penn State University, “Students Use New Lab to Study How Sounds influence Human Health,” February 24, 2015.
Sample, Ian, “Noise Pollution is Making Us Oblivious to the Sound of Nature, says Researcher,” The Guardian, February 16, 2015.
Standford University and Cascade Technologies, “Massively-Parallel Simulations of Supersonic Jet Noise from Complex Nozzles,” August 7, 2013.
Washington Environmental Protection Coalition, “Watch Videos and Hear Growlers for Yourself,” 2015.
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.
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.
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:
The Use of Biosonar, Survivng in the Dark from Port O Call Publishing (February 2015)
Resident Whales and Noise Pollution:
Forbes Magazine. Szczerba, Robert J. “Study Suggests Wi-Fi Exposure More Dangerous to Kids than Previously Thought” January 13, 2015.
- Department of the Army, FOI request, “Bioeffects of Selected Nonlethal Weapons (fn1),” December 1, 2006.
CBC News, “Wireless Radiation Health Studies Needed, Scientists Say,” April 1, 2014.
- Davis, D.L. et al. “Swedish Review Strengthens Ground for Concluding that Cellular and Cordless Phones is a Probable Human Carcinogen” Pubmed.gov from Pathophysiology, April 2013. (abstract)
- Hardell, L. “Case-control Study of the Association Between Malignant Brain Tumours diagnosed between 2007 and 2009 and Mobile and Cordless Phone Use” PubMed.gov from Int J Oncol, December 2013. (abstract)
- Morgan, LL et al. “Mobile Phone Radiation Causes Brain Tumors and Should Be Classified as a Probably Human Carcinogen” PubMed.gov from Int J Oncol, February 15, 2015. (abstract)
Institute of Science in Society, “Wireless Phone Use Increases Malignant Brain Tumor Up to Four-Fold,” December 11, 2014.
Electromagnetic Radiation Safety, “Dept. of Interior Attacks FCC regarding Adverse Impact of Cell Tower Radiation on Wildlife.” March 24, 2014.
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)
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