Dear friends and neighbors,
Thank you for your contribution, large or small. We could not be here 3 years later, without you, and your financial help makes it possible.
P.O. Box 202
Coupeville, WA 98239
You can send checks to the above address, or choose the DONATE button on our main website to donate safely through Paypal.
The ‘winds of change’ are blowing – and all of us are going to be impacted.
Whidbey Island and the Puget Sound region is witnessing the biggest military expansion of our history – bringing more jets, more noise, and increased threats to health and the environment. We are already seeing adverse impacts on our health, historic structures, tourism, and on the living creatures of the nation’s second largest estuary – Puget Sound.
Many of those who came to Whidbey in the 1800’s came for a peaceful and free way of life. Freeland’s name reminds us of that past. What brings and keeps most of us here is that same desire for freedom. We want a quality of life that includes beautiful landscapes, quiet ‘soundscapes,’ and a connection with nature and each other in a way that defines what a “community” should be.
Whidbey Islanders have a history of pushing back on military encroachment on those freedoms, in Coupeville, in Greenbank and even Oak Harbor. During the 80’s and 90’s Islanders, led by Coupeville, objected to noisy ‘Prowler’ jet training. They took the Navy to court, won concessions and even compensation. Then came the Growlers, the loudest jets yet to fly.
The Citizens of Ebey’s Reserve (COER), today’s activists for a rural and peaceful Whidbey, have been working since late 2012 to protect what we hold dear. We have raised and spent over $130,000 to do research, educate the public, and hire legal counsel. This money has come from the pockets and savings accounts of COER members and supporters, all of who have volunteered their time.
If we hope to change the military’s plan for our region, we MUST ACT NOW as a larger and louder community.
Contributions to COER have allowed us to:
- Challenge the Navy’s 2005 Environmental Assessment that allowed the Growlers on Whidbey Island;
- Successfully advocate for a complete Environmental Impact Statement (EIS);
- Pay for an independent noise study of the EA-18 G Growlers using the Outlying Field in Coupeville;
- Pay health experts to research and report on the health impacts of noise onchildren and adults;
- Obtain the Navy’s internal documents and conduct other necessary research;
- Pay for our own noise complaint HOTLINE to respond to people’s concerns;
- Visit elected officials, Federal agencies, and Pentagon officials in Washington D.C.;
- Conduct media interviews and presentations from the Olympic Peninsula to the San Juan Islands;
- Help create a new regional organization, Pacific Northwest Coast Alliance, to bring other groups together to fight the militarization of Puget Sound.
Most recently, COER filed for an injunction in federal district court to stop the Growlers from using the Outlying Field in Coupeville until the harms to people and the environment are studied. The Federal District Judge, who was once in the Navy, ruled against us. His ruling flies in the face of the facts and common sense. It allows the loudest jets ever built to fly low over homes, parks, and places of business before the Navy completes an Environmental Impact Study.
History proves judges can be wrong, which is why their decisions are sometimes overturned on appeal – or effectively changed with public opinion. We think this Judge was wrong.
Appeals are expensive. If we are to do so, we need to raise $50,000 quickly. We hope you’ll consider contributing to this amount. But even if we don’t raise enough for the appeal, your contribution will help us take our case to the court of public opinion through a renewed campaign of public education, organizing, and action. We must begin to prepare a stronger legal footing on health impacts and noise levels and a new economic study that refute the Navy’s arguments when it comes time to challenge the EIS. No matter what – the fight will continue and your support is needed.
Many of us have selected our homes with great intention. Whidbey Island, Lopez, the San Juan’s, Port Townsend, Coupeville, and the communities of the Olympic Peninsula are all vibrant, beautiful and historic — we are ALL in jeopardy. Help us stop this from happening!
The Navy’s military mission is in stark contrast to our Island and rural values that allow us to freely engage in raising families, businesses and improving our communities in a healthy, safe and peaceful ‘soundscape’ without restrictions caused by harmful and painful jet noise.
Help us relocate the Growlers! Give what you can today and protect what you love. We have challenged the Navy before and won – we can do it again.
Stand with us NOW to protect our communities from the military’s ‘winds of change’ that now bring ALL of the Growler’s noise to Puget Sound.
Respectfully and with our thanks,
COER’s Board of Directors
P.S. Please join us for a POTLUCK on October 18th at the Pacific Rim Institute on Parker road in Coupeville from 3 to 5pm. You will hear the latest news and how you can volunteer your help. Protect what you love. Stand with us to protect our communities from the Growler noise.