The Sound Defense Alliance Podcast

Caitlin Epstein

Birds singing over snow-capped mountains, waves crashing over sea glass and stone, the pitter-patter of rain falling over moss covered forests - these are the sounds you’d expect from Northwest Washington. They’re also the sounds being relentlessly disrupted by the roaring of Navy EA-18G Growler jets. Join Sound Defense Alliance Media Coordinator Terra Huey and Media Activist Caitlin Epstein as they guide you through this 12-episode series about the military’s harmful impacts on health, children’s learning, climate, animals, and more. Learn what’s happening around this issue and how YOU can help protect the sounds of wind, birds, and waves.

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Episode 1: Introducing the Sound Defense Alliance and the Growler Jet Noise Issue with Anne Harvey and Mark Lundsten
Sep 2 2022
Episode 1: Introducing the Sound Defense Alliance and the Growler Jet Noise Issue with Anne Harvey and Mark Lundsten
The Navy’s Boing EA-18G Growlers: The loudest planes in the world and they’re flown over protected, environmentally sensitive, and irreplaceable areas across the greater region of Northwest Washington. These jets have astounding impacts on human health, the environment, and so much more. In this introduction episode, we will ease you into the Growler jet noise issue and how the Sound Defense Alliance is working to address it. Hosts Terra Huey (she/her) and Caitlin Epstein (she/her) are joined by guests Anne Harvey (she/her) and Mark Lundsten (he/him), residents of Coupeville and Anacortes, WA, who are involved with the Sound Defense Alliance. Listen to learn more about what it’s like to live under these jets, and what you can expect from this limited podcast series.   Resources: Learn more about the Growler jets and how to take action at: www.SoundDefenseAlliance.org Coupeville Community Allies Citizens of Ebey’s Reserve (COER) Quiet Skies Over San Juan County A Map of Whidbey and Camano Islands   Glossary Terms: Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) - A government document that outlines the impact of a proposed project on its surrounding environment. In the United States, these statements are mandated by federal law for certain projects. Record of Decision (ROD) - Final action prior to implementation of the Proposed Action. Any outstanding issues, including protests, are resolved. After this stage, protestors may sue the agency in federal court. Growler jet - The EA-18G Growler: an American carrier-based electronic warfare aircraft, a specialized version of the two-seat F/A-18F Super Hornet. The EA-18G replaced the Northrop Grumman EA-6B Prowlers in service with the United States Navy. Ault Field - The main base portion of Naval Air Station Whidbey Island (NASWI). Outlying Field (OLF) - A military airport owned and operated by the United States Navy located two miles southeast of Coupeville, Washington, on Whidbey Island. Also known as Naval Outlying Landing Field Coupeville or NOLF Coupeville.    Nature sounds recorded in the Olympic National Park (Gordon Hempton, The Sound Tracker, Co-Founder Quiet Parks International) Hosted by Terra Huey and Caitlin Epstein Produced by Caitlin Epstein in partnership with the Sound Defense Alliance
Episode 1: Introducing the Sound Defense Alliance and the Growler Jet Noise Issue with Anne Harvey and Mark Lundsten
Sep 2 2022
Episode 1: Introducing the Sound Defense Alliance and the Growler Jet Noise Issue with Anne Harvey and Mark Lundsten
The Navy’s Boing EA-18G Growlers: The loudest planes in the world and they’re flown over protected, environmentally sensitive, and irreplaceable areas across the greater region of Northwest Washington. These jets have astounding impacts on human health, the environment, and so much more. In this introduction episode, we will ease you into the Growler jet noise issue and how the Sound Defense Alliance is working to address it. Hosts Terra Huey (she/her) and Caitlin Epstein (she/her) are joined by guests Anne Harvey (she/her) and Mark Lundsten (he/him), residents of Coupeville and Anacortes, WA, who are involved with the Sound Defense Alliance. Listen to learn more about what it’s like to live under these jets, and what you can expect from this limited podcast series.   Resources: Learn more about the Growler jets and how to take action at: www.SoundDefenseAlliance.org Coupeville Community Allies Citizens of Ebey’s Reserve (COER) Quiet Skies Over San Juan County A Map of Whidbey and Camano Islands   Glossary Terms: Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) - A government document that outlines the impact of a proposed project on its surrounding environment. In the United States, these statements are mandated by federal law for certain projects. Record of Decision (ROD) - Final action prior to implementation of the Proposed Action. Any outstanding issues, including protests, are resolved. After this stage, protestors may sue the agency in federal court. Growler jet - The EA-18G Growler: an American carrier-based electronic warfare aircraft, a specialized version of the two-seat F/A-18F Super Hornet. The EA-18G replaced the Northrop Grumman EA-6B Prowlers in service with the United States Navy. Ault Field - The main base portion of Naval Air Station Whidbey Island (NASWI). Outlying Field (OLF) - A military airport owned and operated by the United States Navy located two miles southeast of Coupeville, Washington, on Whidbey Island. Also known as Naval Outlying Landing Field Coupeville or NOLF Coupeville.    Nature sounds recorded in the Olympic National Park (Gordon Hempton, The Sound Tracker, Co-Founder Quiet Parks International) Hosted by Terra Huey and Caitlin Epstein Produced by Caitlin Epstein in partnership with the Sound Defense Alliance
Episode 2: Legal Efforts in the Fight Against the Growler Jets with Paula Spina
Sep 2 2022
Episode 2: Legal Efforts in the Fight Against the Growler Jets with Paula Spina
It’s difficult to take on the United States Navy, but if anyone’s up for it it’s Paula Spina and the Citizens of Ebey’s Reserve (COER). In this episode, retired attorney Paula Spina (she/her) breaks down the legal action being taken against the Navy regarding the impacts of the Growler jets across Northwest Washington, including the State of Washington and COER’s National Environmental Policy Act lawsuit against the Navy over the Growler jet program at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island. Listen to hear how litigation can be a powerful tool for fights like this, and how this lawsuit may pave the way for meaningful change for local residents.   Resources: Learn more about the Growler jets and how to take action at: www.SoundDefenseAlliance.org Citizens of Ebey’s Reserve (COER) Coupeville Community Allies National Parks Conservation Association Whidbey Environmental Action Network Bricklin & Newman, LLP   Glossary Terms: Field Carrier Landing Practice (FCLP) - Repetitive "touch and go" landings at airfields, which simulate landing on an aircraft carrier. EA-6B Prowler - A twin-engine, four-seat, mid-wing electronic-warfare aircraft derived from the A-6 Intruder airframe. The EA-6A was the initial electronic warfare version of the A-6 used by the United States Marine Corps and United States Navy. EA-18G Growler - An American carrier-based electronic warfare aircraft, a specialized version of the two-seat F/A-18F Super Hornet. The EA-18G replaced the Northrop Grumman EA-6b Prowlers in service with the United States Navy. National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) - An act signed into law on January 1, 1970 that requires federal agencies to assess the environmental effects of their proposed actions prior to making decisions. Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) - A government document that outlines the impact of a proposed project on its surrounding environment. In the United States, these statements are mandated by federal law for certain projects. Environmental Assessment - A “brief but thorough” process done to determine whether or not an action is a major federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment. Record of Decision (ROD) - Final action prior to implementation of the Proposed Action. Any outstanding issues, including protests, are resolved. After this stage, protestors may sue the agency in federal court. Outlying Field (OLF) - A military airport owned and operated by the United States Navy located two miles southeast of Coupeville, Washington, on Whidbey Island. Also known as Naval Outlying Landing Field Coupeville or NOLF Coupeville.  Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) - A federal freedom of information law that requires the full or partial disclosure of previously unreleased information and documents controlled by the United States government upon request.   Nature sounds recorded in the Olympic National Park (Gordon Hempton, The Sound Tracker, Co-Founder Quiet Parks International) Hosted by Terra Huey and Caitlin Epstein Produced by Caitlin Epstein in partnership with the Sound Defense Alliance
Episode 3: Growler Jet Noise Impacts on Hearing Health with Marianne Brabanski and Dr. Edmund Seto
Sep 2 2022
Episode 3: Growler Jet Noise Impacts on Hearing Health with Marianne Brabanski and Dr. Edmund Seto
It’s hard to put the experience of Growler jet noise into words. It’s just that loud. Often heard on the ground at sounds reaching between 70 and 120 decibels, Growler jet noise has a significant impact on hearing health. In this episode, audiologist Marianne Brabanski (she/her) and Associate Professor of Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences Dr. Edmund Seto (he/him) explain the technical aspects of our hearing and how loud noises like that from the Growlers can cause permanent damage. Listen to gain a true understanding of the unbelievable noise from the Growlers and its widespread impact on hearing in local residents from children to the elderly.    ***Trigger warning: This episode contains a clip of Growler jet noise that may be disturbing to people with PTSD or who are sensitive to loud noises. The clip plays from 16:11:00 to 16:25:00***   Resources: Learn more about the Growler jets and how to take action at: www.SoundDefenseAlliance.org Citizens of Ebey’s Reserve (COER)   Glossary Terms: Decibel (dB) - A unit used to measure the intensity of a sound by comparing it with a given level on a logarithmic scale. Logarithmic scale - A way of displaying numerical data over a very wide range of values in a compact way—typically the largest numbers in the data are hundreds or even thousands of times larger than the smallest numbers. Such a scale is nonlinear: the numbers 10 and 20, and 60 and 70, are not the same distance apart on a log scale. Rather, the numbers 10 and 100, and 60 and 600 are equally spaced. Thus moving a unit of distance along the scale means the number has been multiplied by 10 (or some other fixed factor). Dose-response - The relationship between the intensity of an exposure, e.g., to an infectious pathogen, physical stressor, or a toxin, and its effect on living organisms.   Nature sounds recorded in the Olympic National Park (Gordon Hempton, The Sound Tracker, Co-Founder Quiet Parks International) Hosted by Terra Huey and Caitlin Epstein Produced by Caitlin Epstein in partnership with the Sound Defense Alliance
Episode 4: The Population Health Crisis of the Growler Jets with Chris Hurley and Dr. Edmund Seto
Sep 2 2022
Episode 4: The Population Health Crisis of the Growler Jets with Chris Hurley and Dr. Edmund Seto
The noise emitted by Growler jets has profound impacts on human health and all of the ways that they damage health aren’t even known yet. They are a population health crisis. In this episode, community-oriented public health leader and advocate Chris Hurley (she/her) and Associate Professor of Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences Dr. Edmund Seto (he/him) share the numerous effects of the jets on our health, especially on our hearts. There’s a lot more to learn about the impact of the jet, and our guests talk about important studies being conducted to discover the widespread effects on communities in Northwest Washington. Understanding these effects is crucial to protecting our health and further presenting Growler jet noise as an issue that must be remedied.   Resources: Citizens of Ebey’s Reserve (COER) University of Washington Public Health Study Division Quiet Skies Over San Juan County The Growler Health Impact Project - The Population Health Initiative Study If you are interested in learning more about the study or getting involved, you can contact Dr.Edmund Seto at eseto@uw.edu   Glossary Terms: Outlying Field (OLF) - A military airport owned and operated by the United States Navy located two miles southeast of Coupeville, Washington, on Whidbey Island. Also known as Naval Outlying Landing Field Coupeville or NOLF Coupeville.  Ault Field - The main base portion of Naval Air Station Whidbey Island (NASWI). Heart disease - A range of conditions that affect the heart, including but not limited to blood vessel disease, irregular heartbeats, disease of the heart muscle, and and heart valve disease. Hypertension - A common condition in which the long-term force of the blood against the artery walls is high enough that it may eventually cause health problems, such as heart disease. Also known as high blood pressure.   Nature sounds recorded in the Olympic National Park (Gordon Hempton, The Sound Tracker, Co-Founder Quiet Parks International) Hosted by Terra Huey and Caitlin Epstein Produced by Caitlin Epstein in partnership with the Sound Defense Alliance
Episode 5: Military Presence and Its Impact on Communities with Zoltán Grossman
Sep 2 2022
Episode 5: Military Presence and Its Impact on Communities with Zoltán Grossman
Do you know what military bases are near you and what purpose they serve? Guest Zoltán Grossman (he/him), a professor of Geography and Native Studies at the Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA, recognized that the public does not have a true understanding of the role of the United States military and its bases, not just in Northwest Washington, but around the world. In this episode, he shares the history and current strategic significance of Naval installations in Northwest Washington, how local communities are affected by bases, and how he seeks to educate his students and the public about these topics through projects like Basewatch.    Resources: Learn more about the Growler jets and how to take action at: www.SoundDefenseAlliance.org Base Nation: How U.S. Military Bases Abroad Harm America and the World by David Vine The United States of War: A Global History of America’s Endless Conflicts, from Columbus to the Islamic State  by David Vine Ground Zero Center for Non-Violent Action Explore Zoltán’s Basewatch project Read Zoltán’s writings on militarism Read about Oceania Rising, a 2019 tour of three Indigenous women from the Pacific to discuss the growing movements against U.S. military bases, and for a demilitarized, nuclear-free, and independent Pacific   Glossary Terms: Joint Base Lewis-McCord (JBLM) - A U.S. military installation located 9.1 miles south-southwest of Tacoma, Washington. The facility is an amalgamation of the United States Army's Fort Lewis and the United States Air Force's McChord Air Force Base which merged on 1 February 2010. Outlying Field (OLF) - A military airport owned and operated by the United States Navy located two miles southeast of Coupeville, Washington, on Whidbey Island. Also known as Naval Outlying Landing Field Coupeville or NOLF Coupeville.  Ault Field - The main base portion ofAnother name for Naval Air Station Whidbey Island (NASWI). Imminent Domain - The right of a government or its agent to expropriate private property for public use, with payment of compensation. Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) - A ballistic missile with a minimum range of 3,100 miles primarily designed for nuclear weapons delivery.   Nature sounds recorded in the Olympic National Park (Gordon Hempton, The Sound Tracker, Co-Founder Quiet Parks International) Hosted by Terra Huey and Caitlin Epstein Produced by Caitlin Epstein in partnership with the Sound Defense Alliance
Episode 7: How the Growlers Are Polluting Our Air and Local Communities with Chris Greacen and Rick Abraham
Sep 2 2022
Episode 7: How the Growlers Are Polluting Our Air and Local Communities with Chris Greacen and Rick Abraham
Do you have 13 friends you could gather for a cross-country road trip from Seattle to New York and back? Not to give things away, but you’d have to make that trip in 14 Priuses in order to produce the amount of CO2 that one Growler jet produces in a single hour of flight. Not only that, but the firefighting foam used during military training  contains dangerous chemicals that have contaminated local water supplies. In this episode, climate consultant Chris Greacen (he/him) and environmental advocate and consultant Rick Abraham (he/him) tell us how the Navy is polluting the skies and the water of Whidbey Island and beyond. Listen to hear not just how these jets are contributing to massive climate impacts and contamination, but also how the Navy isn’t sharing the full extent of the damage.   Resources: Learn more about the Growler jets and how to take action at: www.SoundDefenseAlliance.org Citizens of Ebey’s Reserve (COER) Quiet Skies Over San Juan County Terra.Do Climate Change Course My Climate Journey Podcast The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Whidbey Environmental Action Network The EPA’s updated guidance on PFAS   Glossary Terms: Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) - A government document that outlines the impact of a proposed project on its surrounding environment. In the United States, these statements are mandated by federal law for certain projects. No Action Alternative - Considers what would happen if the federal agency continued to operate and maintain the authorized project with no changes. National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) - An act signed into law on January 1, 1970 that requires federal agencies to assess the environmental effects of their proposed actions prior to making decisions. Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) - A federal freedom of information law that requires the full or partial disclosure of previously unreleased information and documents controlled by the United States government upon request. Field Carrier Landing Practice (FCLP) - Repetitive "touch and go" landings at airfields, which simulate landing on an aircraft carrier. PFAS Chemicals - Synthetic organofluorine chemical compounds that have multiple fluorine atoms attached to an alkyl chain. They are known to persist in the environment and are commonly described as persistent organic pollutants, also known as "forever chemicals". Ault Field - The main base portion of Naval Air Station Whidbey Island (NASWI). Aqueous fire fighting foam (AFFF) - A highly effective foam used for fighting high-hazard flammable liquid fires. AFFF is usually created by combining foaming agents with fluorinated surfactants. Outlying Field (OLF) - A military airport owned and operated by the United States Navy located two miles southeast of Coupeville, Washington, on Whidbey Island. Also known as Naval Outlying Landing Field Coupeville or NOLF Coupeville.  Nature sounds recorded in the Olympic National Park (Gordon Hempton, The Sound Tracker, Co-Founder Quiet Parks International) Hosted by Terra Huey and Caitlin Epstein Produced by Caitlin Epstein in partnership with the Sound Defense Alliance
Episode 8:  The Impacts of Naval Activities on Animals with Bob Wilbur
Sep 2 2022
Episode 8: The Impacts of Naval Activities on Animals with Bob Wilbur
Free Willy. SeaWorld and Blackfish. Whale watching tours. People simply love orca whales. Unfortunately, this beloved species and many more are being harmed by the Navy’s Growler jet program and Naval activities in the waters of Northwest Washington. Guest Bob Wilbur (he/him), the president of the Citizens of Ebey’s Reserve (COER), tells us about how animals are impacted by these activities, and how the impacts are being downplayed and overlooked by the Navy. He also shares about COER’s efforts to protect the endangered Southern Resident orca whale and marbled murrelet seabird.  Listen to learn how animals also fall victim to the Growler jets and how you can be part of the efforts to protect them.   Resources: Learn more about the Growler jets and how to take action at: www.SoundDefenseAlliance.org Citizens of Ebey’s Reserve (COER) Learn more about the Marbled Murellet   Glossary Terms: Endangered species - A species of animal or plant that is seriously at risk of extinction. Threatened species - A plant or animal species perceived as likely, in the near future, to become endangered within all or much of its range. Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) - A government document that outlines the impact of a proposed project on its surrounding environment. In the United States, these statements are mandated by federal law for certain projects. Take - To harass, hunt, capture, or kill, or attempt to harass, hunt, capture, or kill any marine mammal. Minimum Viable Population Size - Ecological threshold that specifies the smallest number of individuals in a species or population capable of persisting at a specific statistical probability level for a predetermined amount of time. National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) - An act signed into law on January 1, 1970 that requires federal agencies to assess the environmental effects of their proposed actions prior to making decisions.   Nature sounds recorded in the Olympic National Park (Gordon Hempton, The Sound Tracker, Co-Founder Quiet Parks International) Hosted by Terra Huey and Caitlin Epstein Produced by Caitlin Epstein in partnership with the Sound Defense Alliance
Episode 11: Should I Stay or Should I Go? with Maryon Attwood and Julieanna Purdue
Sep 2 2022
Episode 11: Should I Stay or Should I Go? with Maryon Attwood and Julieanna Purdue
To stay or to move? That is the unfortunate dilemma that so many residents in Coupeville, Washington, face as a result of nearby Navy activity and its impact on mental and physical health, children’s well-being, clean water, and more. In this episode we’re going to hear from two local residents - Maryon Attwood (she/her) and Julieanna Purdue (she/her), and how one decided to leave and the other decided to stay. This is no easy decision, and you’ll hear from both women about how they have been impacted by the jets, the challenges they’ve faced as small business owners, and the changes they hope to see in the Growler jet program. Maryon will also share about her experience moving and how her life has changed since.   Resources: Learn more about the Growler jets and how to take action at: www.SoundDefenseAlliance.org Citizens of Ebey’s Reserve (COER)   Glossary Terms: Environmental Impact Statement - A government document that outlines the impact of a proposed project on its surrounding environment. In the United States, these statements are mandated by federal law for certain projects. Record of Decision (ROD) - Final action prior to implementation of the Proposed Action. Any outstanding issues, including protests, are resolved. After this stage, protestors may sue the agency in federal court. Outlying Field (OLF) - A military airport owned and operated by the United States Navy located two miles southeast of Coupeville, Washington, on Whidbey Island. Also known as Naval Outlying Landing Field Coupeville or NOLF Coupeville.    Nature sounds recorded in the Olympic National Park (Gordon Hempton, The Sound Tracker, Co-Founder Quiet Parks International) Hosted by Terra Huey and Caitlin Epstein Produced by Caitlin Epstein in partnership with the Sound Defense Alliance
Episode 12: Make Noise About Noise with Jamie Banks, Tom Ewell, and Teresa Purcell
Sep 2 2022
Episode 12: Make Noise About Noise with Jamie Banks, Tom Ewell, and Teresa Purcell
Make noise about noise! The issue of aviation noise doesn’t just impact the communities around Northwest Washington - it affects people across the United States and even the world. We want you to be a part of speaking up about the problem. In this final episode of the Sound Defense Alliance podcast, the Founder and President of Quiet Communities  Jamie Banks (she/her) frames the national aviation noise issue and what Quiet Communities  is doing to bring local groups together and equip them with the tools they need to create change. We are also going to hear from Quaker organizer Tom Ewell (he/him) and political consultant Teresa Purcell (she/her) about how to speak to our legislators. We can’t emphasize enough how important it is to raise your voice about this issue, and we hope that after this episode and this podcast, that you are equipped and inspired to do so.   Resources: Learn more about the Growler jets and how to take action at: www.SoundDefenseAlliance.org Quiet Communities Quiet American Skies Program American Public Health Association (APHA) Policy Statement - “Noise is a Public Health Hazard” If you’re interested in joining Quiet Communities’ upcoming conferences, contact: events@quietcommunities.org National Environmental Justice Advisory Council  White House Environmental Justice Advisory Councils  Citizens of Ebey’s Reserve (COER) Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL)   Glossary Terms: Day-Night Average Sound Level (DNL) - A metric that reflects a person's cumulative exposure to sound over a 24-hour period, expressed as the noise level for the average day of the year on the basis of annual aircraft operations. NextGen - The FAA’s ongoing multibillion-dollar infrastructure program to modernize the U.S. National Airspace System (NAS), which is the world’s busiest and most complex. Also known as the Next Generation Air Transportation System.    Nature sounds recorded in the Olympic National Park (Gordon Hempton, The Sound Tracker, Co-Founder Quiet Parks International) Hosted by Terra Huey and Caitlin Epstein Produced by Caitlin Epstein in partnership with the Sound Defense Alliance