WASHINGTON (CN) – Rocket and missile launches are slated to harass Pacific harbor seals, California sea lions and northern elephant seals off of Santa Barbara, Calif., until 2014, according to a National Marine Fisheries Service regulation granting the Air Force this permission.
The launches are likely to affect the pinnipeds’ ears, and drive them into the water off the 40 mile coast of the air force base and on San Miguel Island, one of the Northern Channel Islands. The islands are part of the Channel Islands National Park and the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary.
The offending noise and visual stimuli will come from test flights at Vandenberg Air Force Base, considered military readiness activities under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, amended by the National Defense Authorization Act.
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