Sound Defense Alliance celebrates 5-year anniversary with special event

The event will take place 4:30-7:30 p.m. Aug. 30 at the Nordic Lodge in Coupeville

An alliance of Western Washington groups concerned about the noise from the Navy’s EA-18G Growler aircraft is inviting the public to a special event Aug. 30 to celebrate its five-year anniversary.

The Sound Defense Alliance event to discuss progress and future plans will be 4:30-7:30 p.m. at the Nordic Lodge in Coupeville, which is located at 63 Jacobs Road in Coupeville.

In addition, this Thursday, Aug. 24, researchers will discuss the findings of the Growler Health Impact Project in a community webinar. The study was funded by the University of Washington’s Population Health Initiative and co-led by the Sound Defense Alliance and Citizens of Ebey’s Reserve. More information can be found at

Sound Defense Alliance is made up of nonprofits and environmentally-minded groups to advocate for the restoration of “the balance between Growler jet noise and the well-being of our communities,” according to the alliance.

Maryon Attwood, a Whidbey resident and legislative chair of the alliance, said the member organizations support the Navy and its mission but feel the increased number of the loud aircraft in the region is untenable.

“People are suffering throughout Western Washington and we – respectfully – wish to end this disgraceful suffering with a sustainable solution to this regional noise problem,” she said.

Attwood explained that the alliance was formed with a “road map” of proposed solutions. The first step is to return the number of Growler flights to what it was before 2018, which is before the fourfold increase of aircraft landing practice at Outlying Field Coupeville.

The Navy has deemed the field invaluable for training for the difficult and dangerous operation of landing on a carrier and that the electronic warfare aircraft play a vital role in national security.

The alliance also wants the Navy to explore other areas for siting the Growlers, such as El Centro in California or Fallon in Nevada.

Attwood said the Sound Defense Alliance has been a strong voice on the issue. The group has developed relationships among local, state and federal leaders. The group helped to get an amendment in the National Defense Authorization Act for a Navy noise study and is currently involved in the University of Washington Health Study comparing Growler noise data with health impacts caused by the decibel levels emitted by the Growler jets.

A federal lawsuit found that the Navy’s environmental study of the increase in Growlers was lacking in four areas.

“Noise and jet noise is becoming a national issue and we believe science is on our side,” Attwood said. “Efforts here in Washington are playing a part in other efforts regarding military jet noise across the country.”