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Soundings Archive

Navy Holds Acoustic Research Conference
On February 6-7, 2008, the U.S. Navy's Scientific Operational Naval Acoustic Research Conference was held at Pearl Harbor. The conference was chaired by OPNAV N45, the Navy's environmental readiness command. Adm. Robert F. Willard, Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, was in charge.

One purpose of the conference was to provide an opportunity for the Navy's scientists, fleet operators and environmental specialists to exchange new research relevant to the Navy's use of sonar.

Some environmental groups frequently sue the Navy in court claiming sonar harms marine mammals like whales. Adm. Willard is reported to have stated at the conference that these law suits have "no scientific basis whatsoever [and] are costing the Navy operational flexibility."

The Navy spends $18 million per year on research to better understand and protect marine mammals from any adverse effects of sonar. According to Adm. Willard, "We are making a significant investment in the science," and "we're not sure some of the environmental organizations share our concern about understanding the science."

Adm. Willard explained that the Navy is "good stewards of the environment, much better stewards than many, and we're making the scientific investment to be even better. "

  • Click here to read report on conference

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