Underwater Detonations at the Silver Strand Training Complex: Effects on Marine Mammals
NAVAL UNDERSEA WARFARE CENTER DIV NEWPORT RI
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The Commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet is preparing an environmental impact statement EIS for activities at the Silver Strand Training Complex SSTC. Training often involves the use of small explosives for various purposes, such as to disable underwater mines or defend ports. Explosions release very brief, intense sound energy with spectral characteristics spanning a wide band of frequencies. As a part of the SSTC EIS development, a quantitative analysis of sound impacts on marine mammals was performed to facilitate preparation of a Marine Mammal Protection Act MMPA Letter of Authorization for SSTC training activities. That analysis, described in this report, provides a conservative estimate of exposures of marine mammals impacted by the underwater detonations, which are a required component for training combat forces under realistic conditions.
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