The beach is full of tourists as Navy EA-18 Growlers fly overhead non-stop.
Two Growlers go westward; their sound wake leaves me shaking.
“What was that?” someone asks.
That was Navy Growlers transforming the Olympic Peninsula.
Navy EA-6B Prowlers flew for 25 years. No one complained.
Then the EA-18G appeared.
The Olympic Peninsula has been overwhelmed as Growlers invade Olympic National Park and our local communities.
At Hurricane Ridge they accompany ranger-guided snowshoe tours.
At La Push, jets fly over rivers and beaches, tormenting whales, calves and hikers.
They accompany vacations at the Hoh, Elwha and Sol Duc rivers.
The Navy has 36 more jets; flights are increasing from 6,100 to 23,700 per year for a total of 280 days.
Growlers will fly all hours over the Olympic Peninsula.
Nothing prepares us for these changes.
It is inconvenient for the Navy to fly elsewhere.
More fuel, more time, but the cost to the Navy will be a fraction of ours.
Growlers destroy quality of life, a thriving tourist economy, health, learning and the very fabric of our community.
With 4,355 comments and 33,000 letters saying no, it still continues.
We are collateral damage.
We can say no.
Ask the Navy to mitigate sound, minimize flights and fly away from populated areas and national parks.
Ask your representatives at all levels to defend our communities.
Lisa Marks Mahon,