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Coastal Commission Rejects Navy’s Plan For Marine Life

Lt. Rebecca Smith, from Acton, California, signals the launch of an F/A-18E S...

Credit: U.S. Department of Defense

Above: Lt. Rebecca Smith, from Acton, California, signals the launch of an F/A-18E Super Hornet, on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis, May 10, 2018.

The California Coastal Commission voted unanimously to reject the Navy’s plan for protecting wildlife off the coast of California.

At a Wednesday meeting in Chula Vista, the commission heard testimony from the Navy and environmental groups. The Navy is in the middle of renewing its plan to minimize the impact of training on the wildlife off the coast of California and Hawaii.

“It’s a complex topic and were still committed to working with them. Seeing if we can provide more information to see if we can get to an agreement,” said Alex Stone, Navy spokesman for the project.

The current plan limits the areas where the Navy could use explosives and sonar in breeding areas and other sensitive habitat. The Navy also uses trained spotters to monitor for marine life during exercises.

The plan is a product of lawsuits filed by environmental groups.

The Natural Resources Defense Council testified those measures don’t go far enough. Sonar use will disrupt the habits of millions of marine mammals including potential hearing loss.

The current plan expires Dec. 25.

The Navy is coming to the end of a five-year plan to protect the ocean waters between California and Hawaii.

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