Your generous support got us back to federal court, where we've
scored another big victory for whales -- this time over the
President of the United States!
Last night, a federal judge struck down a waiver issued by the
White House that would have exempted the U.S. Navy from obeying
a key environmental law during sonar training exercises that
In doing so, the court affirmed the bedrock principle that we do
NOT live under an imperial presidency. Both the White House and
the military must obey and uphold our environmental laws.
Here's a great segment about our victory from today's "Morning
Edition" on National Public Radio:
President Bush's waiver was a last-ditch attempt to let the Navy
unleash an onslaught of military sonar off the coast of southern
California -- home to five endangered species of whales --
without taking precautions to protect marine mammals from a
lethal bombardment of sound.
Last month, the same judge -- U.S. District Judge Florence-Marie
Cooper -- ordered the Navy to put safeguards in place during the
sonar maneuvers in order to protect marine mammals from needless
injury and death. Shortly after that ruling, President Bush
issued his "emergency" waiver, attempting to override the
In last night's ruling, Judge Cooper called the Navy's so-called
emergency "a creature of its own making," and reaffirmed that
the military can train effectively without needlessly harming
The Navy's maneuvers would take place near the Channel Islands
-- one of the world's most sensitive marine environments. The
Navy itself estimates that the booming sonar would harass or
harm marine mammals some 170,000 times -- and cause permanent
injury in more than 400 cases.
The far-reaching precautions imposed on the Navy by Judge Cooper
include a ban on mid-frequency sonar within 12 miles of the
California coast -- a zone that is heavily used by migrating
whales and dolphins -- and between the Channel Islands.
Make no mistake: we must be fully prepared to keep fighting for
those humane restrictions -- especially if the White House or
Navy appeals this decision to a higher court.
Your support and activism have taken us this far. I know you
will continue standing with us in the courtroom battles ahead --
until that day when whales no longer need to die for the sake of
Natural Resources Defense Council