Letter to the Editor

How will tests help?

AtascaderoOctober 4, 2012 

In recent decades coastal California has seen a healthy resurgence among depleted species of plants and animals. Once-clearcut redwood forests are regenerating. The California sea otter population is up from 50 in 1938 to more than 2,700 today. Northern elephant seals, believed extinct in 1884, now number 84,000. It’s wonderful to be able to show our children these hopeful examples of people taking steps to successfully repair and enrich our natural world.

Also in recent decades there have been worldwide reports of beached dolphins and whales. It seems mysterious that such intelligent animals would resort to self-destructive behavior. A local oceanographer recently told me he thinks these beachings are all caused by sonar equipment.

Last summer at Avila Beach, we witnessed a gathering of large sea life unprecedented in historic memory. Could an event like that happen again? Is it the beginning of another resurgence of healthy wildlife along our coast?

Not if the proposed sonar testing is approved and conducted.

And what upsets me most is I don’t think the information gathered by testing would serve a useful purpose. I can’t imagine that it would actually be applied to fortify or somehow alter the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant.

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