"The islands are places of peace.... exceptional natural beauty and healthy diverse ecosystems.... The air is fresh and clean.... [We] take appropriate action to assure healthy land and marine environments." San Juan County Comprehensive Plan
We are looking for quiet in our skies.
The Quiet Skies Group is comprised of citizens and residents of San Juan County, Washington, who are concerned about excessive and disruptive noise in our skies due to the increasing placement of EA-18G Growler jets at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island. Read more...
Contact your legislators to tell them how jet noise affects you.
Photos on this page change. Orca photo by: Flip Nicklin, Minden Pictures, Natl. Geographic Creative. Photos of goldfinch, sheep in field and sunrise by Kristen Rehder. Photo of bicycle by CK. Snow photo by TM. Group photo on Lopez island by Bill Evans. Other photos from Shaw Island and Port Townsend, Summer, 2019.
San Juan County supports a web site for our Salish Sea and Olympic Peninsula region that you (YES, YOU!) can use to report excessive aircraft noise from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island. The website is:
Click here for tips on how to report jet noise.
** NEWS **
May 16, 2022: The Sound Defense Alliance has notified us of an opportunity to participate in a national survey being conducted by Quiet Communities Inc. (QCI), a national nonprofit organization originally focused on commercial jet noise and now including military jet noise in their scope of work. They have developed a survey for community members to describe the impacts that aviation noise and pollution are having on their health and that of their families. You are invited to participate. Click on this SURVEY.
Preliminary results will be available at the QCI conference on June 16th (9:00AM - 11:15AM PST), Aviation Noise, Pollution, and Health: Connecting the Dots. Please check their calendar for the event and/or sign up for their email list to receive the invitation. The deadline for submission is May 31, 2022, 5:00PM PST.
April 4, 2022: A judge ruled against a decision to allow the Navy to use Washington State Parks for covert training. Deception Pass State Park had been on the list of potential training sites for the Navy SEALs. See the story.
March 20, 2022: Jet Noise reports continue to increase. Thank you for your input - we know it takes effort. Read our latest Monthly Update, with special notes about how to assure that your reports of jet noise on the website are accurate.
December 13, 2021. "Magistrate Judge Rebukes the Navy Growler Environmental Impact Statement". At last! Some forward movement in exposing the Navy's inadequate EIS that expanded Growler jet presence and impact in our region. Read Quiet Skies article.
October 26, 2021: Event Reminder!
Wednesday, Oct. 27 @ 5:30pm - Film Screening of "Jet Line". Sound Defense Alliance is hosting a film screening this Wednesday of "Jet Line", a documentary on the impact of noise from the F-35 jets in Burlington, Vermont. This short film utilizes an anonymous hotline to elevate the voices beneath Vermont’s F-35 flight path, the first urban residents to live with the impacts of one of the US military’s most controversial weapons systems. Tranquil scenes of quiet neighborhoods near Burlington International Airport are juxtaposed with voicemails of the unheard, those drowned out by the ear-shattering “sound of freedom.”
Similar to our fight here in the San Juan's and nearby region, citizens in Vermont are being assaulted by the harmful and excessive noise from military jets. We invite you to join us for viewing of “Jet Line” and discussion with the filmmakers to learn more about their efforts and how their work can help inspire changes in our region! We will also be learning how to set up a call line so that we can explore the creation of our own PNW "Jet Line" with a focus on audio storytelling as a form of educating our elected officials.
Sound Defense Alliance, PO Box 373, Coupeville, WA 98239
September 19, 2021: CALL TO ACTION: A Message from the Sound Defense Alliance:
Contact Rep. Rick Larsen
We hear them... Let's make them hear US!
1998 – that was the last time the Department of Defense (DOD) did a comprehensive siting study of the EA-18G Growler jets. So much has changed in the past 23 years. Join us in asking Congressman Rick Larsen to work with SDA and his colleagues in Congress to get this siting study updated by either crafting an amendment to the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) or working through the DOD and SecNav.
We are asking the Navy to undertake a one-year Study of Siting Options for the EA-18G Growler jets to update the 1998 study and to ensure alignment with the Technical Joint Cross Service Group (TJCSG) guidelines. The TJCSG recommends that the military "maintain competition of ideas by retaining at least two geographically separated sites, each of which would have similar combination of technologies and functions." This will also provide continuity of operations in the event of unexpected disruption.
This study would allow the DOD and the Navy to make informed decisions about the siting of the Growler jets, reconsider the wisdom of single siting this asset, and reconsider the highest and best use of the base on Whidbey. We have a Roadmap to Restore the Balance between military and civilian needs. We need our leaders in Congress to work with us to achieve that goal.
Join us in raising our voices:
CALL REP. RICK LARSEN and let him know:
We are disappointed that he has chosen NOT to advance the SDA's advocate for his constituents and find a solution to the imbalance between the noise of the jets and the health and well-being of people across NW Washington.
Our request is simply to add an amendment to the NDAA requiring the Navy to conduct a one-year study of siting options for the Growlers or to advocate for that study with the DOD and SecNav.
We will continue to work even harder on other approaches to getting this Navy study completed - and we hope that you, Representative Larsen, will see the wisdom of supporting the study.
Representative Larson: Work with us to acknowledge the changes since 1998 and join us in finding solutions to Restoring the Balance between the military and the people and places negatively impacted by harmful military activities. We need you to lead.
We will not go away - We are in this for the long haul.
Call Rep. Rick Larsen
Read our tips on how to "Maximize your Message" on our website so that you are prepared before you make your call.
Thank you for your support and readiness to take action!
The Sound Defense Alliance
September 15, 2021: Jet noise reports for the first eight months of 2021 have been increasing and stand at 97.5% of the number that were recorded for all of 2020. Review the report here.
June 29, 2021: In 2015, in response to community concern about noise from the growler jets located at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, San Juan County set up a jet noise reporting website. In 2019 access to the website was shared with the wider region. Use this website to report excessive jet noise. See the reports the data generates. You may also use the Navy's comment line, but does it really make a difference? See: "Navy noise complaint data lost in glitches."
March 19, 2021: News Report on Web Symposium on Growler Jet Noise Impacts. Read it here. You can also watch the recording of the Symposium: https://alumni.wwu.edu/event/salish-sea-science-symposium-implications-noise-navy-aircraft-salish-sea-and-olympic-region
December 23, 2020: Navy Begins Noise Monitoring Initiative at NAS Whidbey Island
December 18, 2020: Two letters to the Editor in the Seattle Times illustrate request for the Navy to leave the Olympic National Park in peace.
December 15, 2020: KING5 News ran this story on the effect of the Growlers over the Olympic Peninsula. Not sure how long this clip will be available, so take a look now: https://www.king5.com/article/tech/science/environment/new-studies-explore-navy-noise-over-olympic-peninsula-and-underwater/281-f58f36d9-aa8d-4b80-99cb-1710cbe92ddd
December 9, 2020: Read this Opinion in the Seattle Times regarding Growler Flights over Olympic National Park.
December 5, 2020: Read this new report, a study of Growler noise levels for humans and marine and terrestrial wildlife. Above and below: Military Aircraft Noise in Air and under Water at Whidbey Island, Washington. The study is also summed up in the Seattle Times: Navy Growler jet noise loud enough to reach orca pods even 100 feet underwater, new research shows
There's more. Go to News Archive...
Concerned about Growler jets flying over the Olympic National Park?
On Oct 21, 2021 the Navy issued their record of decision a year after the associated supplemental environmental impact statement (SEIS) was completed for their operations in their expansive Northwest Training and Testing Range. It appears to be full speed ahead for the Navy, but with an interesting and modest tweak to avoid some flights over Olympic National Park.
Read the comments from Rob Smith, Regional Director,
Northwest Regional Office in Seattle
National Parks Conservation Association
Our neighbors on Whidbey Island report this:
"We were totally surprised by the Growlers at the Transportation Center in Coupeville today. The result was two crying children and the rest of us running for our cars to protect them.
The jets were the lowest I've seen at about 300 feet from the ground, turning hard and low, so we got all of the engine noise blown right at us. It took hours to calm the children down and our ears rang all afternoon.
Is this really what the Navy wants to do to our children?"