RESTORE THE BALANCE: Next Steps to Halt Growler Expansion
Orcas Island – Sound Defense Alliance and Quiet Skies will host a community forum on Thursday, November 14th from 6 to 8 pm at the Emmanuel Episcopal Parish Hall, located at 242 Main St. Doors open at 5:45 pm and the program will begin at 6 pm. The event is open to the public and free; refreshments will be served. This event is part of SDA’s “Restore the Balance” Campaign.
Earlier this year, despite the objections of thousands of citizens and local, state and federal officials, the Department of Defense formalized its decision to add 36 EA-18G Growler jets to Naval Air Station Whidbey Island and to quadruple flight operations at Outlying Field Coupeville. Flight increases affecting the San Juan Islands, Olympic Peninsula, Whidbey Island, Camano Island and the Salish Sea region began on March 18th, 2019.
In response to this significant expansion, SDA, a coalition of citizen groups and non-profit organizations, formed to defend communities and the environment from the harmful impacts of this activity. Events are being held throughout Northwest Washington to inform and engage the public. SDA is committed to working with elected officials and people across the state and nation to achieve an outcome balanced between the needs of military and civilian communities. “This one-sided expansion in Northwest Washington is unlivable and unsustainable,” commented Larry Morrell, SDA Executive Director.
Rhea Miller and Larry Morrell of the Sound Defense Alliance (SDA) will present the latest accomplishments and concerns of the Growler EA-18 flights over San Juan County and the region. The program will include a presentation, opportunity for questions and a call to action. Rhea Miller is the Board Chair of the Sound Defense Alliance and former San Juan County Commissioner. Rhea authored the book Cloudhand, Clenched Fist: Chaos, Crisis, and the Emergence of Community and was chosen for an Orcas TEDx presentation. She resides on Lopez Island. Larry Morrell is the Executive Director of the Sound Defense Alliance and is a retired high-tech executive with 37 years in the semiconductor industry. He is a Vietnam-era Army Veteran and former Navy Reservist. Larry is an expert on the economic impact of EA-18G (“Growler”) base on Whidbey Island. Larry serves as a member of the Citizens’ Advisory Panel for the development of Washington State Guidebook for the Military and Community Compatibility to be published in 2019 by the WA Department of Commerce. He is a licensed private pilot and HAM radio operator. For more information on SDA, visit our website or find us on Facebook and Instagram.