"Navy vs. Environmentalists Off Florida Coast"

"Perhaps the last thing the Navy is looking for at the moment is a tangle with environmentalists. But that is exactly what it has -- over a proposed $100 million naval warfare training range off the northern Atlantic coast of Florida.

According to the Southern Environmental Law Center and some other organizations, Navy ships would be performing exercises and sonar tests in areas otherwise protected for fish -- including snapper and grouper -- and close to a calving area for North Atlantic right whales.

'The Navy's proposing a dangerous perfect storm of increased traffic, construction, sonar and debris in an area critical to commercially valuable and endangered marine life,' said Catherine Wannamaker, a lawyer for the law center.

Not so, said Jene Nissen, a Navy acoustic policy manager, who said sonar will have no impact on wildlife 'a majority of the time,' and whatever effects there would be he characterized as 'minor and temporary.'

There would be no impeding of whale calving, he said, or of the care of whale calves."

Clifford Krauss reports for Green Inc. in the New York Times July 2, 2009.

Source: NYTimes, 07/03/2009