Recent letters to the editor painted an inaccurate picture of the Sound Defense Alliance, or SDA, portraying the group as a handful of disgruntled NIMBY Central Whidbey locals.
In truth, SDA is a regional organization composed of local groups, individual members and affiliates. About 20 organizations from Whidbey and Lopez islands, Anacortes and several locales on the Olympic Peninsula, are members or affiliates. For a list, see www.Sounddefensealliance.org
SDA was formed to defend our communities and natural environments from the harmful impacts of military activity around the Salish Sea, Puget Sound and the Olympic Peninsula.
The leadership is drawn from this broad region; the chair of the board lives on Lopez Island, the executive director lives in Port Townsend. SDA exists because of a widespread concern about the impacts of electronic attack jets, EA-18G, on our schools, health, environment and tourist economy.
While the majority of the Growlers’ impact is felt on Whidbey Island, the jets affect a wide area, from Forks to Winthrop. The individuals and groups that comprise SDA believe that the noise must be measured and mitigated, or the training moved to a less densely populated location.
Even though the term NIMBY is meant to offend, nearly everyone is a NIMBY. This is why we have zoning rules and public hearings on appropriate land use. The use of our common airspace should be given similar consideration.
SDA is working with key decision makers at every level of government to find an equitable solution that respects the Navy’s need to train safely and the rights of local communities to maintain healthy environments and economies.
Executive director, Sound Defense Alliance