The Navy has obtained authority to blast and sink as many as two real ships a year in the Gulf of Alaska over the next five years to give pilots and gunners authentic targets for their sights.
But ocean campaigners say that even decommissioned, stripped-out ships, like the ones the Navy will use as targets, contain residual hazardous materials that can poison the Gulf’s rich habitat for years. They’re trying to stop the target practice before it begins.
The levels of contamination are so miniscule compared to other pollutants in the ocean as to be insignificant. But that is beside the point. The environmental groups have a reflexive opposition to anything of the sort, regardless of the opportunity costs associated with it.