Engage the U.S. Navy in the vessels working group to address acoustic and physical impacts to orcas from naval exercises in the waters and air of Washington.
The Governor should meet with the U.S. Navy’s commanding officer for the region to address the acoustic and physical impacts to Southern Residents from naval exercises in the waters and air of Washington State. The Governor should request the Navy participate on the vessels working group in Year Two and identify actions to reduce the Navy’s impacts to Southern Residents.
- In July 2020, multiple state agencies submitted comments to the National Marine Fisheries Service about the harm to Southern Residents from the Navy’s testing and training activities, as part of the Navy’s Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement. In November 2021, the Navy announced its decision to proceed with activities and mitigation measures despite the concern.
- The U.S. Navy joined the vessels working group in 2019. Various Navy units in the Northwest (Keyport, Bangor, etc.) are using the Whale Report Alert System in Puget Sound and nearby areas to decide whether to reschedule activities. The National Marine Fisheries Service and Navy agreed to continue to explore opportunities to improve real-time notifications via the Whale Report Alert System and other systems.
More details may be found in the progress reports in the resources library.