So the infamous Center for Biological Diversity card (below) talks about a "joint military project proposed by the US..." and other "plans" that are from the past. It references the 2006 agreement about Camp Schwab. I'm just curious if these scenarios are still accurate? My concern was that we made these proposals, environmental groups freaked out (below), and then we conceded ("my bad"). I haven't found that but I didn't know if that's because it hasn't happened or because I'm not that good a researcher (which is entirely possible).
There's also a card I keep seeing about a plan to build a runway or heliport in an environmentally sensitive area. Again, is this still just a plan? Is it talking about Nago or Henoko Bay or Camp Schwab?
Thanks for the help!
The Center for Biological Diversity—a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 240,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places, et al., co-signed by representatives of conservation, animal protection, and peace and justice groups representing more than 10 million Americans, 2009 (“RE: Proposed U.S. Military Air Base Expansion Near Henoko, Okinawa,” Letter To The Obama Administration, December 3rd, Available Online at http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/species/mammals/Okinawa_dugong/pdfs/dugongletter.pdf)
The island of Okinawa has been called the “Galápagos of the East” because of the incredible variety of marine and terrestrial life it supports. Unfortunately, a joint military project proposed by the U.S. and Japanese governments threatens to destroy one of the last healthy coral-reef ecosystems in Okinawa, pushing many magnificent species to the brink of extinction. You have the power to protect these unique and priceless creatures. Under a 2006 bilateral agreement, U.S. and Japanese governments agreed to relocate the contentious U.S. Marine Corps’ Futenma Air Station to Camp Schwab and Henoko Bay. This shortsighted plan does not take into consideration that the relocation will destroy a valued ecosystem, including the nearly 400 types of coral that form Okinawa’s reefs and support more than 1,000 species of fish. It will also hurt imperiled sea turtles and marine mammals. Current plans call for construction of the new military base near Henoko and Oura bays in Okinawa. But the habitat this project would destroy supports numerous endangered species — animals protected by American, Japanese, and international law for their biological and cultural importance. These species include: Okinawa dugong: The critically endangered and culturally treasured dugong, a manatee-like creature, relies on this habitat for its very survival in Okinawa. Japan’s Mammalogical Society placed the dugong on its “Red List of Mammals,” estimating the population in Okinawa to be critically endangered. The U.S. government’s Marine Mammal Commission and the United Nations Environmental Program fear the project would pose a serious threat to this mammal’s survival. The World Conservation Union’s dugong specialists have expressed similar concerns and have placed the dugong on its Red List of threatened species. The Okinawa dugong is also a federally listed endangered species under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. The Okinawa dugong has extreme cultural significance to the Okinawan people, and only about 50 dugongs are thought to remain in these waters. The base construction will crush the last remaining critical habitat for the Okinawa dugong, destroying feeding trails and seagrass beds essential for dugong survival. Sea turtles: Three types of endangered sea turtle — the hawksbill, loggerhead, and green — also depend on this ecosystem. These turtles are listed under the U.S. Endangered Species Act and the global Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. The turtles use nearby beaches to feed and lay their eggs. The construction and operation of the new base will cause water and air pollution, create artificial light pollution, and increase human activity — all of which are harmful to sea turtle survival. Many plant and animal species are still being discovered in Henoko Bay. Since the base plan was announced, new types of seagrass — a vital staple food for the dugong — and mollusks have been discovered on the project site. New wonders of nature are found here each year. The base plan would devastate dugong habitat in Henoko Bay and nearby Oura Bay, and would be extremely harmful to turtles, fish, coral, and other marine life. The recently elected Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama and the Democratic Party of Japan have expressed the desire to renegotiate the 2006 agreement and cancel plans to relocate the base. You have the ability and duty to alter the course of this devastating plan, but time is of the essence. We urge you to direct the U.S. secretaries of defense and state to cancel this project immediately. By canceling the plan to expand an airbase near Henoko and Oura bays, you will protect a globally important ocean ecosystem and some of the best remaining habitat for the Okinawa dugong. IUCN has designated the 2010 Year for Biodiversity as the year of the dugong. Please cancel this destructive project and ensure that the Okinawa dugong has a fighting chance at celebrating its importance in 2010 and years to come.