Navy defines areas under sonar ban



The Oceanographer of the U.S. Navy has announced that high-resolution bathymetric data for areas around Trident nuclear submarine bases in Georgia and Washington state will still be restricted. The rest of the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone will continue to be open to detailed sonar surveys, the result of a reversal in March of the Navy's policy of classifying data from the 320-km-wide zone (see Eos, 69, 571, 1988).

The restriction on access to bathymetry of the special areas does not come as a surprise. The present Navy Oceanographer, Rear Admiral William Pittenger, said in a March 23 letter to then-NOAA Administrator William Evans that broad areas around the egress routes would remain under the restriction.