Protect Our Marine Mammals! Stop Active Sonar in the MITT

Protect Our Marine Mammals! Stop Active Sonar in the MITT

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Jesse Chargualaf started this petition to US Navy

Protect our Marine Mammals!
Calling on the US Navy to Stop Using Active Sonar in Critical Habitat Areas

Last month Senator Kelly Marsh (Taitano) introduced a bipartisan Resolution 365-35 (LS) or Prutehi i Mambayena Siha, which calls on the US military to cease the use of active sonar in critical habitat areas of the Marianas Island Testing and Training Range that is made up of the waters that surround the Mariana Islands.

Recent studies have shown that the use of active sonar in military training has a negative impact on marine mammals, disrupting their ability to navigate and causing a significant amount to perish, but beaching or washing up on beaches. From 1962 – 2006, there wasn’t a single documented incident of whales beaching in the Marianas. However from 2007 – 2019, in correlation to an increase in US military training and testing in the Marianas, eight incidents have occurred. Half of the whales washing ashore within a week of a US Navy training exercise.

The beautiful waters that surround us in the Marianas are home to more than 20 different types of dolphin, whale and porpoise. Some of these whales that call our islands home are considered to be highly endangered, with their habitats threatened around the world. For example, scientists recently made a significant conclusion that the waters within the Mariana Islands are likely a "missing" breeding ground for the endangered humpback whale. They are currently researching this from Guåhan up north to Pågan.

These marine mammals are important parts of our ecosystem, but are also important to our economy. More than 300,000 tourists last year to our island engaged in some type of activity touring or enjoying the beauty of the waters around Guam, including dolphin watching.

The US Navy has already stopped using active sonar in critical habitat areas in California and Hawai’i in response to the community feedback. Why should it be any different for Guam and the Marianas?

By stopping the use of active sonar in critical habitat areas, the balance of nature is kept, and the businesses which provide boat tours and diving, which is a substantial amount of our tourism offerings, are less negatively impacted.

We are blessed to live in our own paradise in the Pacific, where we are sustained daily by I tano’ (the land) and I tasi (the sea). We must take seriously any threats to them, at any given time.

The following is the link to the resolution introduced by Senators:

Kelly Marsh (Taitano), PhD
Therese M. Terlaje
Sabina Flores Perez
Telena Cruz Nelson
Clynton E. Ridgell
Joe S. San Agustin
Régine Biscoe Lee
William M. Castro
Telo T. Taitague

http://www.guamlegislature.com/COR_Res_35th/Res.%20No.%20365-35%20(LS).pdf

Prutehi yan Defendi

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