Residents sound off on GRASI war games

Published: Wednesday, June 11, 2014 at 11:28 AM.

Sound pollution a big concern

Sound pollution was also a concern for environmental guide Serge LaTour. He brought a video to Carrabelle’s meeting showing the effect of a flyover by two helicopters on Tate’s Hell wildlife.

He was not allowed to present it in the meeting, but was able to set up a demonstration in another room. The scene is peaceful with ambient noise from birds and insects. When the aircraft pass overhead, the sound was deafening. Following the aircraft, the forest is completely silent.

“When communication shuts down, life in the swamp shuts down,” LaTour said. “The disturbance after that simple flyover lasted hours. We all assumed you wouldn’t be doing anything during hunting season. There’s not going to be anything left there to hunt after you guys finish.”

Betty Cummins, of Alligator Point, said the temporary placement of razor wire along roads would endanger free-ranging animals such as bears and deer. She worried that animals, spooked by loud noise and unusual activity in the swamp, might become entangled in the wire.

LaTour also expressed concern about frightened animals leaving the area of the games.

“Where are the bears going to go?” he asked. “We already have a problem with nuisance bears. The bears (fleeing from the military exercises) will be displaced, scared, angry and disoriented. They’re going to be in the streets.”

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