According to the Navy’s website, the U.S Navy will be carrying out a number of exercises in the next twenty years. Unfortunately, these exercises will bear the responsibility for a number of ocean contaminants that will harm the environment.
Neptune 911, an environmental watchdog stated that the NRDC had found the U.S Navy’s training and testing activities caused harm to more than 60 whale, dolphin, seal and sea lion populations. They further reported that in a U.S District Court Session, District of Hawaii had found that the National Marine Fisheries Service, the agency given the responsibility for protecting such wildlife, has violated a number of legal requirements when they agreed to the Navy’s training exercises.
Such exercises have been carried out for decades, and during this process tons of bombs, heavy metals, missiles, sonar buoys, high explosives and depleted uranium munitions that are obviously dangerous to humans, marine life, and the environment. And it isn’t any secret either. Even the Navy’s 2015 Northwest Training and Testing environmental impact statement (EIS) says that during their ‘testing and training events’ conducted each year, 200,000 stressors are fired into U.S waters biennially.
The upcoming exercises will be no different, and another 20,000 tons of heavy metals and explosives will be pushed into the ocean by the Navy. When speaking about the impact of these munitions and their contamination of the sea, Karen Sullivan, a retired endangered species biologist stated,
“The data they produce never fails to back up their ‘no significant impact’ claims,” Sullivan explained. “To wit: The mission statement of the Navy’s ‘Living Marine Resources (LMR) Program,’ a taxpayer-funded government research program run by the Navy, is to ‘ … improve the best available science regarding the potential impacts to marine species from Navy activities … while preserving core Navy readiness capabilities.’ Which translates to, let’s not get too carried away with conclusions we don’t like.”
“This fox-in-henhouse science is not new,” Sullivan explained. “Take flares, for example. Among other things, they contain hexavalent chromium, which is highly carcinogenic when ingested or inhaled in small quantities.”
Sadly, this will continue without intervention. So, on top of the various contaminants strewn across war-torn nations all over the globe, military exercises will wreak havoc throughout the seas that surround the United States. And if we add up all of the environmental damage done throughout the years due to these training programs, we would reach an incomprehensible number of contaminants.