Q U I E T S K I E S
Over San Juan County
What Has Happened to the Sounds of Silence?
For persons living within the flight paths of the aircraft from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, the health impacts from noise and vibration are obvious – hearing loss, anxiety, increased blood pressure, cardiac problems and sleeplessness. Aircraft operations at Whidbey occur throughout the day in 3-8 hour blocks. It is not uncommon for them to create invasive flight noise in the evening until 1:30 am. There are many articles and studies about the linkage between health, disease and air and road traffic noise levels.
Protecting our parks and national monuments, schools, and our own homes and backyards from invasive noise is an important part of living a healthy life. Excessive noise can negatively affect the behavior of humans and animals. To learn more, click on these resources:
Seattle Times: Dec 5, 2020: Navy Growler jet noise loud enough to reach orca pods even 100 feet underwater, new research shows
Above and below: Military Aircraft Noise in Air and under Water at Whidbey Island, Washington, Nov 2020
The Navy's Growler jets bring noise to a quiet place: Olympic National Park
Noise pollution hurts wildlife, but states have trouble turning down the volume
Exposure to jet noise may have damaging effects.
The effects of noise: Attempt to create a quieter city.
Sounds of War: Navy Warplanes Producing Deadly Noise Around US Bases
Recording of an NPR story about a National Parks Service environmental survey.
Something to think about: Various efforts between the National Park Service and the U.S. Air Force (USAF) have resulted in greater mutual cooperation over the past decade. Attendance by both parties at Airspace and Range Council meetings, for example, and NPS-sponsored backcountry trips for military officers and park managers have helped build relationships and resulted in more collaborative problem solving. Heralded as an outstanding example of a cooperative relationship between the NPS and USAF, the jointly developed military sourcebook helps both agencies better address military overflights in the Pacific Northwest National Parks. Versions covering other regions are planned. For more, see: