A coalition of conservation groups have amended their complaint, filed in Hawaii federal court last month, challenging the Navy’s five-year plan to conduct underwater sonar and training activities off the coasts of Hawaii and southern California. 

The amended complaint adds the Navy as a defendant, in addition to the National Marine Fisheries Service, and alleges that the Fisheries Service violated its legal duty to protect endangered species in approving the plan. 

The lawsuit is being brought by the Center for Biological Diversity, the Conservation Council for Hawaii, the Animal Welfare Institute and Ocean Mammal Institute. Earthjustice, a Honolulu law firm, is representing the groups. 

The groups argue that the Navy’s sonar and explosive testing will harm an inordinate amount of marine life, including whales, seals, sea turtles and dolphins 

The Navy says that it plans to limit the harm to marine life and that the testing is important to protecting national security. 

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Photo: Humpback whale (NOAA)

Sophie Cocke

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