NOAA, Navy need to get to­gether on Mal­lows Bay

Maryland Independent - - Community Forum - Hal De­la­plane, La Plata

In the story “Navy bases con­cerned over Mal­lows Bay” (Wed­nes­day, April 12, page A1), it is re­ported that Naval Sup­port Fa­cil­ity In­dian Head may suf­fer if the pro­posed sanc­tu­ary area of 18 square miles (Al­ter­na­tive B) is ex­panded to ei­ther a 52-square-mile area (Al­ter­na­tive C) or 100-squaremile area (Al­ter­na­tive D). Pub­lic Af­fairs Of­fi­cer Jeron Hayes and Com­mand­ing Of­fi­cer Capt. Mary Fein­berg re­it­er­ated their sup­port for the 18-square-mile sanc­tu­ary al­ter­na­tive and gave mea­sured state­ments about the Navy’s de­sire to be good en­vi­ron­men­tal stew­ards and neigh­bors while en­sur­ing the vi­a­bil­ity and in­tegrity of their mis­sion, the test range in par­tic­u­lar.

The ar­ti­cle goes on to state that Hayes said if the area were ex­tended be­yond Al­ter­na­tive B, “the fu­ture and present of dif­fer­ent mis­sions for all three fa­cil­i­ties [In­dian Head, Quan­tico, and Blos­som Point] could be in jeop­ardy.” Fur­ther, the “other two al­ter­na­tives are too ex­pan­sive and would present some dif­fi­culty for the base’s op­er­a­tions.” The Na­tional Oceanic and At­mo­spheric Ad­min­is­tra­tion (NOAA) Draft En­vi­ron­men­tal Im­pact State­ment (DEIS, http://sanc­tu­ar­ies.noaa.gov/ mal­lows-bay/mal­lows-pro­posed­deis-dmp.pdf) as­sessed po­ten­tial im­pacts of each al­ter­na­tive for In­dian Head as well as three other mil­i­tary in­stal­la­tions — Quan­tico, Blos­som Point, and Dahlgren and con­cluded that none of the al­ter­na­tives would have any di­rect im­pact on any of the fa­cil­i­ties and the only in­di­rect ef­fects would be mi­nor ben­e­fi­cial ones, such as out­reach and ed­u­ca­tion pro­grams (Ta­ble 24, page 127, et seq).

If the in­for­ma­tion in the ar­ti­cle is fac­tual and re­flects the of­fi­cial Navy po­si­tion, then there is a se­ri­ous dis­con­nect be­tween NOAA and the Depart­ment of De­fense and the two need to get to­gether.

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