Completed in 2013 > Natural Resources > Protecting Marine Resources
Protecting Marine Resources

The coastal and sea areas of Hawaii and Southern California are important to those who use these resources for subsistence, commercial or recreational purposes. These areas are home to a vast array of marine plants and animals, including whales, dolphins, porpoises, seals, sea lions, turtles, fish and birds.

The ocean areas off of Hawaii and Southern California are important to the Navy because of the established ranges where members of the armed forces learn and practice the skills required to respond to an emergency or threat. In addition, these areas are suitable and necessary for testing new and existing weapon systems in environments similar to where they will be used.

The Navy strives to protect the marine environments of Hawaii and Southern California and has programs in place to care for the environment. The Navy continually improves these programs as it learns more about the ocean environment.

Funding Research

Much remains to be learned about how marine mammals live, travel and respond to human activities in the ocean. The Navy is a world leader in marine mammal research, and currently provides over $20 million per year to universities, research institutions, federal laboratories, private companies and independent researchers around the world to increase the understanding of marine mammal physiology and behavior. This research helps the Navy to better understand marine species distribution and important habitat areas, develop methods to detect and monitor marine species before and during training, understand the effects of sound on marine mammals, sea turtles, fish and birds, and develop tools to model and estimate potential effects of sound. The Navy also uses the results of these studies to develop new programs to protect marine mammals while training at sea.