03 Mar '12, 10pm

Canada Uses Dangerous Sonar in Waters Protected by U.S.

On Monday morning, a Canadian Navy frigate ran a sonar exercise in the waters of Haro Strait and the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Washington. Incredibly, a good portion of that exercise took place on the U.S. side of the border – in waters we have designated as critical habitat for killer whales under the Endangered Species Act. Environmentally, there are few worse places off our coasts to run a sonar exercise, and not just because of the killer whales. The straits and channels beyond Puget Sound act as a natural sound duct, causing the high-intensity pings of navy sonar to reverberate, and extending their life from 1-second blasts to 20-second ordeals. The effect, to human ears, is excruciating: like fingernails across a chalkboard. One can only imagine how it sounds at high volume to creatures as acoustically sensitive as killer whales and other marine mammals. Fortunately, b...

Full article: http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/mjasny/canada_uses_dang...

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