Date: 7/9/2003 4:30:41 AM Hawaiian Standard Time
Sent from the Internet (Details)
Dear NRDC BioGems Defender,
I wish you could have been with us in court last week as we argued our landmark
case to save millions of marine mammals from the Navy's deadly LFA sonar system.
Getting this case to U.S. District Court has been an enormous undertaking:
eight years of legal sparring with the Navy; hundreds of pages of carefully
drafted legal arguments; tens of thousands of pages of documents entered into
the court record; and a never-say-die belief on our part that the health of
ocean ecosystems will one day prevail over the world's most powerful military
But, above all, the road to the courthouse door was paved with thousands and
thousands of letters and contributions from caring people like you. That's why,
with a ruling in this case still a month away, I wanted you to know right away
that we fought the good fight on your behalf last week. The rest is now up to
Judge Elizabeth LaPorte.
As you know, Judge LaPorte stunned the Navy last fall by blocking deployment of
LFA sonar across 75 percent of the world's oceans until this case could be
heard in full and all of NRDC's evidence presented. It is unusual for a judge
to clamp this kind of injunction on the military -- especially in times like
these -- unless the case against the government is exceedingly strong. We have
that kind of case.
Judge LaPorte's courageous ruling last year signaled that the Bush
administration had likely violated multiple laws when it gave the Navy
permission to harass and injure thousands of marine mammals by flooding ocean
habitats with high-intensity noise.
Since then, NRDC's case has only gotten stronger. We have uncovered reams of
new evidence -- much of it drawn from the Navy's own files -- that high-powered
LFA noise can cause hemorrhaging in whales, internal injuries in fish, and
seizures in human divers.
When our Marine Mammal Protection staff entered the courtroom last week, they
encountered a phalanx of Bush administration lawyers and a parade of the
government's top scientific experts. But that formidable array of government
talent (all paid for by your tax dollars!) faced an uphill battle trying to
refute the almost overwhelming case against LFA sonar that we have
painstakingly constructed over the past decade.
Based on Judge LaPorte's many thoughtful questions, there is little doubt that
she understands the far-reaching dangers posed by this technology -- as well as
the illegal manner in which the Bush administration approved its deployment.
All we can do now is wait and hope that Judge LaPorte will impose a permanent
ban on the global deployment of this acoustic menace until such a day as the
Navy can prove it has complied with federal law and will do no serious harm to
marine life. I will, of course, alert you via email the minute we have the
judge's ruling in hand.
On behalf of our entire legal team, I want to thank you again for coming to the
defense of marine mammals around the world and making this historic case
John H. Adams
Natural Resources Defense Council
. . .
BioGems: Saving Endangered Wild Places
A project of the Natural Resources Defense Council
To update your information, including your email or mailing address, log in to
your Action Visa at http://www.savebiogems.org/actionvisa/ and click "Update