H-SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

Mar 8, 2013 5:32 AM by ASSOCIATED PRESS

Environmentalists oppose Navy offshore training

SAN DIEGO (AP) - Environmentalists say a five-year training plan by the Navy would harm endangered species off the Southern California coast including the blue whale.

The California Coastal Commission is expected to rule on whether the Navy's plan needs more protective measures at a hearing in San Diego on Friday.

Michael Jasny of the Natural Resources Defense Council says unless there are new restrictions the plan will bring a big surge in sonar testing.

In its proposal, the Navy estimates the increased activity would have a negligible impact on marine populations. Navy officials declined comment before the hearing.

Jasny wants the commission to urge the Navy create a new proposal that would avoid training during times sensitive for animals like feeding and breeding.

The current plan calls for the Navy to increase existing measures when necessary.

The training program would begin next year and run until 2019.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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