"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.
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.
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.
** NEWS **
January 13, 2023: Jet noise reports for 2022 exceeded those of 2021 by 36%. Read the jet noise summary for 2022 here.
October 21, 2022: Learn the Science about the impact of Growler Jet Noise. Join the first webinar that introduces a study funded by the UW Population Health Initiative. Here is the link to the recording of the October 27 webinar: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=79HGX8GkQdc
September 11, 2022: Energy, pollution, climate change! Did you know that 14 Priuses driving across the country produce the amount of CO2 that one Growler jet produces in a single hour of flight? For more about the effect of the Navy’s Growler operations listen to these podcasts: https://music.amazon.com/podcasts/eddca13e-a3c3-48c3-a18c-7d22e8c8afbc/the-sound-defense-alliance-podcast
August 11, 2022: First, read the August 2 Press Release below. For the next steps, read the letter from Anne Harvey, Sound Defense Alliance Chair: "Restore the balance between Navy’s needs and civilian communities impacted by Growler jets."
August 2, 2022: Judge Rules Against the Navy
From the COER Press Release:
It’s official. A long-awaited decision that began in 2019 has been made by the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington today, August 2, 2022. It is the consequential ruling the community had hoped for.
Judge Jones adopted, in full, the Report and Recommendation provided by Magistrate Creatura in December 2021. That report was the result of a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) challenge brought by the plaintiffs—the State of Washington and Citizen’s of Ebey’ s Reserve (COER) and Paula Spina—against the United States Department of the Navy.
Judge Jones made no changes to the magistrate’s recommendations. His December report had admonished the Navy’s Environmental Impact Statement (EIS):
Here, despite a gargantuan administrative record, covering nearly 200,000 pages of studies, reports, comments, and the like, the Navy selected methods of evaluating the data that supported its goal of increasing Growler operations. The Navy did this at the expense of the public and the environment, turning a blind eye to data that would not support this intended result.
Or, to borrow the words of noted sports analyst Vin Scully, the Navy appears to have used certain statistics “much like a drunk uses a lamppost: for support, not illumination.”
For the full release from COER click here.
July 19, 2022: The numbers of reports of excessive jet noise around our region are increasing. Data from jet noise reports submitted by regional residents are available here. Of special interest are maps indicating the density of noise reports in various locations.
June 2, 2022: Are there some positive developments regarding the offensive noise from Growler jets? Read this note from Rob Smith, National Parks Conservation Association.
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.
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?"