05 May '11, 11pm

We should expect and demand more from our government than a figurative shrug when it comes to protecting whales.

We should expect and demand more from our government than a figurative shrug when it comes to protecting whales.

Yesterday, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) issued a final rule governing the Navy’s “take” of whales and dolphins during training activities in the Gulf of Alaska. While the final rule sounds very official and substantial, it rests largely on a piece of fiction. Under the federal law that protects whales and dolphins, NMFS must authorize the Navy’s unintentional “take” (in these cases “take” largely manifests as significant behavioral harassment, but sometimes it can be temporary or permanent injury or even death) of marine mammals if it finds that the Navy’s use of sonar and explosives in the Gulf of Alaska will have a “negligible impact” on the area’s marine mammals. So far, so good; the Navy asks NMFS to authorize its use of sonar and explosives in the Gulf of Alaska, the Navy and NMFS analyze the impacts sonar and explosives will have on the whales and dol...

Full article: http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/zsmith/blind_decision_m...

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A giant mine in beautiful Bristol Bay, Alaska? Worst. Idea. Ever.

A giant mine in beautiful Bristol Bay, Alaska? ...

switchboard.nrdc.org 05 May '11, 8pm

(Lake Clark National Park, Bristol Bay, Alaska) In August 2005, shortly after enduring the misery of the bar exam, I hoppe...