Environmental report on expanded training released

Published: Monday, September 9, 2013 at 09:58 AM.

A final environmental impact statement on the Navy’s plans to increase at-sea training off the East Coast is available for the public’s review.

The Navy released the EIS report for the Atlantic Fleet Training and Testing area, which includes waters off the coast of North Carolina, Aug. 30 following a process that began three years ago and included public comment periods and informational meetings that included local sessions.

The plan would roughly double training capacity in the ATFF region, but that doesn’t mean twice the amount of training activities will take place.

Mary Gardner of Swansboro attended a public hearing the Navy held in Swansboro last year to provide information about the plans and with the release of the final report, she’s not pleased to hear such training will be taking place.

She’s concerns about the impact depth charges and sonar will have on whales, dolphins and other marine animals as well as damage to the ocean floor.

Gardner believes training can be accomplished through simulation.

“I don’t think we need any more destruction of the ocean floor,” she said.



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