target: NOAA, the Navy, Department of Commerce, Department of Defense
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Currently the Navy has permission to conduct active sonar tests, bombing tests and other military drills in a region that has been established as a National Marine Sanctuary (the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary off Washington State's coast).
In February of 2012, L-112, a 3 year old female who was part of the endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales washed up dead with evidence of blunt force trauma. This type of damage is consistent with explosives and powerful sonar tests.
Another orca whale, L-60, washed up dead in 2002 with similar evidence of blunt force trauma.
Over the last 10 years 2 other whales have also washed up with a similar fate and many more whales were never found, but just went missing.
We don't have proof that these deaths are a result of the Navy's activities, but it has brought awareness to this area and the importance to protect it.
We are asking the Navy to move the bombing range further off-shore. We are asking them to move it to an area where these training activities would have a much lower impact.
Since the mid 1990's, when the Navy stepped up its training activities in this range, the amount of unexpected whale deaths has almost doubled. During the peak of the training activities the Southern Resident Killer Whale population substantially decreased.
These whales deserve true protection and conducting these tests, drills and exercises in the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary just doesn't make sense.
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