By JULIE WATSON
SAN DIEGO (AP) - Environmentalists are suing the National Marine Fisheries Service to demand the Navy consider alternatives to its five-year plan that will intensify its sonar use off Southern California and Hawaii.
Earthjustice, representing several groups, filed the lawsuit Monday in federal court in Honolulu, only hours after the federal agency announced its ruling on the five-year permit.
Navy officials estimate its activities would have a negligible impact on marine mammal populations.
Environmentalists dispute that and favor creating zones that would be off-limits seasonally. They also want buffers around marine sanctuaries.