The U.S. Navy conducts training and testing (military readiness) activities in many areas around the world. U.S. Fleet Forces Command, in coordination with other Navy commands, prepares environmental studies for the military readiness activities it conducts.
For example, an analysis of military readiness activities conducted in the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico called the the Atlantic Fleet Training and Testing (AFTT) Environmental Impact Statement/Overseas Environmental Impact Statement (EIS/OEIS) was completed in 2018.
The AFTT EIS/OEIS includes an analysis of potential environmental impacts from Navy military readiness activities. These activities include the use of ships, submarines, aircraft and weapons systems. The AFTT EIS/OEIS also analyzed the Navy’s use of sonar and explosives.
These studies are important because they allow the Navy to identify and consider the potential environmental effects its readiness activities may have on environmental resources while maintaining required levels of military readiness. Activities with potential to significantly impact environmental resources are evaluated for any protective (mitigation) measures that could be implemented to help minimize effects on those resources, including marine mammals, sea turtles, fishes, birds, and coral while maintaining required levels of military readiness training.
The analysis in these studies are also used to request authorizations and permits, and to conduct consultations that are required under the Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act as well as other federal laws.