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Navy Holds Hearings On Expanding Training On Silver Strand

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Aired 2/23/10

The Navy will hold the first of two public meetings tonight, on plans to expand training activities along the Silver Strand.

The Navy will hold the first of two public meetings tonight on plans to expand training activities along the Silver Strand.

The Silver Strand, the thin strip of land that runs between Coronado and Imperial Beach, is already a highly-prized training area for the Navy. It offers access to both San Diego Bay and the open ocean. The Navy wants to increase the tempo of training and add new activities.

Project manager Delfin Lee says it’s part of the overall growth of the Navy in San Diego.

"There’s a general build-up or growth of force in the Southern California area," Lee said. "A lot of it has to do with the shifting towards Southern California, a concentration of personnel and equipment and infrastructure. Because of that, the commands that use Silver Strand are also increasing, and that would translate into increased use at Silver Strand."

The Navy does not propose to expand its training area, but the beaches and boat lanes will be used more intensively. Activities include ship to shore exercises, sometimes involving a helicopter, and equipment to transfer fuel.

Many bird species inhabit the area. Underwater exercises, like mine countermeasure training, also have an impact on marine mammals.

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