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Whales could face naval sonar threat

(From thedigitel.com)- The US Navy aims to build an extended sonar training range on the Eastern Seaboard, but local and regional conservationists say it’s a terrible idea. That after being denied by ocean wildlife conservationists, the Navy persistently redrafted their proposal in an effort to improve communication and navigation.  Here’s a word from the project manager: The environmental impact study does show there are some behavioral reactions to sound. But the effects are low level and temporary. There’s no permanent damage. But in 2005 there was much speculative evidence to the contrary when 30 whales beached themselves on the coast of North Carolina shortly after high-intensity sonar blasts.

Some are worried this might recur, The Post and Courier reports: conservationists worry that sonar and other man-made noises could be deafening and frighten the whales into lethal beach strandings and rapid surfacing.

(By Charlotte Gutman)

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