Kauaʻi Surfrider Foundation to launch RIMPAC watch

The Garden Island reported that the Kauaʻi Chapter of Surfrider Foundation is launching a RIMPAC watch June 29 through August 7:

The Kaua’i chapter of the Surfrider Foundation is asking the public for help monitoring environmental impacts during the Navy’s RIMPAC event that starts this week.

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More than 40 ships, six submarines, 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel are scheduled to participate in the training exercises, which will include the use of sonar,  explosions and other potentially harmful activities, according to Surfrider.

“With that many ships out there, the possibility of something happening is really high,” said Kaua‘i Surfrider Chair Dr. Carl Berg. “We want people to be the eyes and ears for the marine environment and report anything unusual or questionable while these intensive military operations are under way.”

Any unusual behavior by marine mammals should be reported to the NOAA stranding hotline at 1-888-256-9840.

If people see anything questionable, they are asked to call Dr. Gordon LaBedz of Surfrider at 337-9977. Information can also be posted on the Kaua‘i Surfrider’s Facebook page, or emailed to surfriderkauai@gmail.com. Photographs and video are especially useful, according to a Surfrider press release.

Surfrider is attempting to document harmful interactions as part of the Environmental Impact Statement process currently under way. The Navy is preparing an EIS for possible expansion of training activities, including greater use of sonar, in waters off Hawai‘i and California.

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