Farmlab Public Salon
Joel Reynolds
Friday, January 23, 2009 @ Noon
Free Admission

"Whales, Dolphins, Sonar, and the U.S. Navy"

About the Salon

Winter v NRDC was the name of the recent controversial U.S. Supreme Court case that challenged the U.S. Navy's use of sonar off the coast of southern California. At this Salon, Joel Reynolds of the Natural Resources Defense Council (the "NRDC" in the court case name) will discuss the outcome of the case, the reasoning and the science behind the NRDC's arguments, and perhaps hypothesize about what 2009 may bring regarding the matter.

From a Joel Reynolds blog post the week prior to the arguments:
"As I wrote about previously, NRDC challenged the Navy's refusal to comply with federal environmental laws when using mid-frequency active sonar during fourteen long-planned exercises in southern California. There is no question that sonar injures and kills whales and dolphins. The Navy admitted as much in its official "Environmental Assessment" of the exercises, estimating that the exercises would significantly disturb or injure an estimated 170,000 marine mammals, including causing permanent injury to more than 450 whales and temporary hearing impairment in at least 8,000 whales.

"Nonetheless, in planning its exercises, the Navy refused to adopt common-sense measures to protect marine mammals from the effects of its dangerous sonar technology. The Navy's failures led both the district court and Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to conclude that the Navy had violated federal environmental laws. To remedy the Navy's violations, while still allowing the Navy to effectively train, the district court required the Navy to adopt additional safeguards protecting whales and other marine mammals."

About the Salon Speaker

Joel Reynolds is the Director of National Resources Defense Council's (NRDC) Urban Program, the Marine Mammal Protection and So. California Ecosystem projects.

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