Arcata to oppose Navy coastal activity
The City of Arcata voted Wednesday to circulate a “strongly worded letter” opposing naval weapons testing and whale-killing sonar activities along the California coast.
The city will seek support from state and local jurisdictions, coastal counties in California, Oregon and Washington, and reach out to non-profits. The letter will call for congressional hearings on the matter and seek legal options.
Public speakers and Council agreed the US Navy pushed an Environmental Impact Report with secrecy and haste, causing confusion as to deadlines for public comment. Attendees urged the council to send the strongest message possible opposing these naval activities.
Former Arcata City Councilman Dave Meserve said the navy acting out of “continued cold war paranoia.” He said sonar blasts reach 200 decibels that drive whales crazy or kill them.
Speakers noted recent consensus on the Marine Life Protection Act by local tribes, fishing communities and environmentalists, but say the Navy is exempt from such restrictions.
For its part, the Navy says it’s all no big deal because they will only be harassing marine life rather than killing and maiming, as reported in the Journal.
On a technical note, Arcata is light years ahead of the City of Eureka and the County of Humboldt when it comes to ease of access to city meetings. The Granicus system includes crystal clear audio — unlike the skull-shattering buzz offered by the county and its lead city. The agenda is clearly posted along side a live video feed for online viewers, and screen titles note which agenda item is currently under discussion.
The awesomeness of Arcata’s transmission system includes music and nature-based images to soothe the civic minds of meeting-watchers during bio breaks. Anyone who has suffered through remote viewings of Eureka City Council or Humboldt County Board of Supervisors meetings know the pain of that particular sonar blast and are crazy and harassed by it. No reports of actual maiming.