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Growler expansion risks our Orca population

Dear Supporters of the Sound Defense Alliance,

Washington’s Orca whales need your help! The expansion of E/A-18G Growler jets at NAS Whidbey Island isn’t just bad for the people of this region, it’s bad for our State’s endangered Orca whales.

Governor Jay Inslee has an Orca Task Force meeting this Fall and they need to hear your comments. They meet again October 17 and 18, so time is of the essence.

Here’s how the Growler Expansion risks our Orca population:

  1. Water pollution– the risk of emergency fuel dumping over Smith Island and continued Navy use of firefighting foam would increase with more jets and flights out of NAS Whidbey Island.

  2. Noise– Growler jets generate up to 120 decibels of noise – as loud as a jackhammer, rock concert or police siren. These noises are amplified in the water. Navy jets routinely fly over the San Juan Islands and Whidbey and Fidalgo Islands, right over primary Orcas habitat and where the whales often feed. Increases in noise to Orca whales increase their time spent hunting for food. Orcas need less noise, not more.

  3. Ocean acidification – The increase of more Growler jets to NAS Whidbey Island will contribute an additional 60,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide to Washington’s air, mainly in areas over or near Puget Sound. When our oceans absorb carbon dioxide, they become more acidic, further diminishing the Orcas’ food supply.

Share your concerns with the Governor’s Task Force today, and tell them why the Growler Expansion is bad for Washington’s Orcas.

Please leave your comments as soon as possible on our survey. The Task Force meets again on October 17 and 18 in Tacoma — They need to hear from you.

Thank you for your help with this action. There will be more to come in the next weeks.

-Sound Defense Alliance

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