Commentary Noise from Navy Growlers will hurt Whidbey economy

This opinion is in response to state Sen. Barbara Bailey’s recent commentary (“Bob Ferguson’s war a threat to Whidbey Navy base,” The Herald, July 21. The Navy’s proposed fourfold increase in low-altitude flights on Whidbey Island will result in noise levels high enough to cause pain, deafness and ill health. Prolonged exposure to jet noise has been associated with increased risk of heart attack and stroke.

(See “The Adverse Effects of Environmental Noise Exposure on Oxidative Stress and Cardiovascular Risk”: tinyurl.com/NCBInoisestudy )

As a resident whose home is under one of the flight paths, I, my neighbors and anyone visiting, can inform Bailey that the noise generated by the Growler jets permeates the indoor environment of a home or building as well as the area outside with an earth-shaking rumble and deafening roar. We have measured over 90 decibels indoors, and over 120 decibels outside. During flight operations, the effects are continuous for hours as one jet is followed by another. The Navy’s use of the field near Coupeville and Ault Field has gotten out of hand and it is time for citizens to say “enough!”

The Department of the Navy decision-makers in Washington D.C. can find and act on a better plan that is more balanced. Having increased Growler operations in one area is not safe and it is not healthy for all living things in that area. We and our children need to be protected. The children rely on us for their safety and health and we are happy that the state attorney general has filed suit to protect us.

We are not anti-Navy. We are anti-Growler jet noise and its harmful effects!

We value our environment, our rural economy and our historic character. This is the home of Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve. The exponential increase in jet missions will drive people and visitors away from Whidbey. This place will have no value and no purpose if there’s no one who can enjoy it.

This month, friends of ours from Montana camped at Deception Pass and were horrified by the ear-shattering Growler noise during the afternoon and evening. The jets flew directly overhead, and so low, the campers could see the jet’s lights through the ceiling of their tent. The noise was so unbearable they departed the campsite as soon as they could. Driving people away is a cost to our economy.

I remain confident that the Navy will see that the recent decision to place increased number of Growlers here is unsustainable and that the Navy will make a new plan with balance for our citizens and the region.

Karen Ramey

Coupeville

Talk to us

More in Opinion

RGB version
Editorial cartoons for Sunday, Nov. 28

A sketchy look at the news of the day.… Continue reading

School-age lead Emilee Swenson pulls kids around in a wagon at Tomorrow’s Hope child care center on Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2021 in Everett, Washington. A shortage of child care workers prompted HopeWorks, a nonprofit, to expand its job training programs. Typically, the programs help people with little or no work experience find a job. The new job training program is for people interested in becoming child care workers. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Editorial: Everett must make most of pandemic windfall

Using federal funds, the mayor’s office has outlined $20.7M in projects to address covid’s impacts.

Seraphine Warren cries as she talks about her missing aunt, Navajo rug weaver Ella Mae Begay, while holding a rug made by Begay at her home in Tooele, Utah, on Sept. 23, 2021. Begay, 62, disappeared in June, one of thousands of missing Indigenous women across the U.S. The extensive coverage of the Gabby Petito case is renewing calls to also shine a spotlight on missing people of color. (AP Photo/Lindsay Whitehurst)
Viewpoints: Indigenous people don’t disappear; they’re ignored

Spotty data and media bias have delayed justice for missing and murdered Indigenous people.

Comment: Confronting racism here will take real effort

As dangerous as racism is in Snohomish County, denying its presence here is even more damaging.

Comment: Federal Child Tax Credit reducing poverty; for now

Its extension in the Build Back Better bill must pass the Senate to ensure a brighter future for kids.

State should end animal fur trade

It is far past time that Washington state bans animal fur sales… Continue reading

Catholic bishops ruling on communion avoids abortion issue

U.S. Catholic bishops of the U.S. ended a nearly year long debate… Continue reading

Consequences of lies, fear have proved deadly before

While I am mostly a “pox on both their houses” kind of… Continue reading

RGB version
Editorial cartoons for Saturday, Nov. 27

A sketchy look at the news of the day.… Continue reading

Most Read