Good news for whales (for a change)

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We’ve been pretty short on good oceans-related news of late, but here’s an exception! On Monday a district judge issued a temporary restraining order blocking the use of high-intensity sonar by the U.S. Navy during its war games now taking place off Hawaii. She gave the Navy and the Natural Resources Defense Council until July 12 to meet and discuss a possible settlement ahead of a July 18 hearing. (NRDC and other organizations filed suit asking for the restraining order last week.)

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As we’ve reported in the past, Navy sonar has been directly implicated in mass strandings and deaths of whales, dolphins, and other marine species.

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(Note: Before anyone asks, these here marine mammals are not really wearing ear muffs; the image has been photoshopped.)

The decision comes three days after the Pentagon saw fit to declare the Navy exempt from the Marine Mammals Protection Act, which requires that steps be taken to avoid harm to marine mammals.

In her ruling, District Judge Florence-Marie Cooper wrote that environmentalists had submitted “considerable convincing scientific evidence that the Navy’s use of…sonar can kill, injure and disturb many species, including marine mammals.”

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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