Ocean Dumping of Nuclear Weapons
Military attacks have alarming consequences on our ecosystem. Their huge footprint includes millions of tons of ammunition in our oceans, contaminating landscapes, and 10% of global carbon emissions.
Continue reading Footprints of War
International Dialogue on Underwater Munitions (IDUM) What is happening in France is taking place on a Global Scale including Massive Underwater Weapons Dump Sites that have been contaminating our marine food sources with known carcinogens. Most Americans, Canadians and Europeans, regularly consume lobsters, mussels and oysters, high in heavy metals and fish with tumors. The Militaries (US DoD and Canada DND greatest offenders) instead of fulfilling their responsibility to clean up their waste spend “billions” on studies that imply that “everything is OK”
Chair@idum.org firstname.lastname@example.org Support IDUM www.underwatermunitions.org
Officials in France have confirmed the discovery of an ordnance disposal site in the northern French region of Meuse, where massive numbers of shells left over after World War I were dismantled contaminating the soil.
In July, local authorities banned farmers from selling produce grown in the area, which had been used as farmland for several decades. The areas affected by the ban are close to Verdun, the northeastern French city that gave its name to the famous World War I battle in which more than 300,000 German and French soldiers died.
Results of initial soil testing carried out by France’s Geological and Mining Research Bureau show traces of metal and chemical compounds in the soil including arsenic, lead, and zinc. Traces of explosives and industrial chemicals used in the disposal of the shells were also found.
“At the end of the two world wars, any shells that weren’t fired were handed over to ‘recyclers’ who dismantled them in a rudimentary fashion and kept the metal,” a spokesman for French environmental group Robin des Bois (Robin Hood) said. In June 2014, Robin des Bois released a report on the environmental impact of unexploded bombs to coincide with the 70th anniversary of D-Day.
According to local daily L’Est Républicain, the restrictions affect nearly 250 acres of farmland that was used from 1919 to 1926 as a site to dispose of old ordnance. A company called Clere & Schwander reportedly disposed of up to 1.5 million chemical shells and 30,000 high-explosive shells by “burning them, blowing them up, dismantling them, and draining them.”
To establish the levels of contamination in the soil, authorities submitted samples of locally grown wheat, barley, and sweetcorn for testing. They also tested the milk of cows grazing in the area. Results from the testing appeared to show that safety thresholds for substances that have them — such as lead — were not exceeded. However, other substances detected during testing — including certain metals and explosives — do not currently have regulatory thresholds. As a precautionary measure, authorities have decided to carry out further testing to determine whether or not the levels of these compounds are harmful to humans; the second round of testing could take up to six months.
“In the 20s, the public authorities didn’t have the same environmental and security concerns as they do today,” said François Crochet, who teaches at the university of Lorraine-Metz and sits on the scientific council of the French Commission for the Centenary of the Great War.
Officials have banned farmers from selling their produce until “health guaranteed have been provided.” According to L’Est Républicain, farmers have already lost $167,000 worth of milk because of the restrictions.
Farmers in the area have not yet received any form compensation, despite a promise from authorities that they would be reimbursed “for their losses.” Farmers are due to meet with local officials “very soon,” said a spokesman for the prefecture. Officials have also confirmed that the Environment and Energy Management Agency — a department of the ministry of ecology — has earmarked a $233,000 fund to compensate farmers.
Local authorities revealed the discovery at a news conference Tuesday — the first time officials have spoken publicly about the restrictions introduced in July. A mayor whose town is located within the affected area and who wished to remain anonymous said he found out about the discovery last week in the media.
Many people are wondering how it was possible for the authorities to forget about a vast bomb disposal site. According to Cochet, “overlapping responsibilities” within public agencies often cause institutions to drop the ball. The spokesperson for the Robin des Bois collective blamed the “oversight” on “administrative failings,” and said that the authorities had shirked their duty to track the sites.
“We believe that there are other, similar sites that have yet to be discovered in France, particularly in the Lorraine [region],” the spokesperson said. Officials were first alerted to the presence of the Clere & Schwander site while researching another nearby shell disposal site that was discovered in 2000. Nicknamed “Gas Square,” the 10,000-square-foot clearing was used after World War I to dispose of nearly 200,000 German chemical shells.
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Photo via Flickr
Fisherman injured, chowder destroyed by Unexploded Ordnance (bombs, mines, rockets, explosives releasing their chemicals in our ocean left by DOD)
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Support International Dialogue on Underwater Munitions (IDUM) for A Global Treaty on all Underwater Weapons! Our waters will continue to experience chemical releases for the next 10,000 years destroying our fish stocks and impact our health unless we eradicate underwater weapons.
“How come DOD doesn’t fund and investigate the problem of sea dumped weapons when they are the body that created the situation which harms our fish stocks and the ocean as we understand it. DOD’s tasks are to defend Americans at home and abroad from threats, yet environment, isn’t one of their top 10 priorities. DOD is responsible for the situation that impacts our seas and oceans on a Global Scale including the health of Americans while saving dollars over public health. Underwater Munitions, will be another US Flint!!!! Denial, denial, denial fueled by DOD dollars to their like-mined agencies. I hope that Americans understand the global human health and environmental impacts which aren’t going away but getting worse!
DOVER, Del. – A fishing crew apparently pulled up unexploded ordnance while clamming, leading to a fisherman being hospitalized with second-degree burns and the destruction of more than 700 cases of chowder, officials said.
It’s unclear what the ordnance was, but fishing vessels along the Atlantic Coast routinely dredge up munitions, including mustard agent, that were dumped at sea decades ago when environmental laws were far more lax.
The injured fisherman was treated at a hospital in Philadelphia for burns and blisters, said U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Seth Johnson.
Such injuries are consistent with mustard agent exposure.
The crew of the fishing vessel the William Lee found what they believed was an old or discarded ordnance canister on Aug. 2 and threw it back into the ocean 30 miles east of Barnegat Inlet, Johnson said.
Larry Hajna, a spokesman for the state Department of Environmental Protection, said the agency wasn’t told about it until Tuesday – a week later. The agency immediately reported it to the Coast Guard, he said. The boat was impounded in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and inspected Wednesday, but no hazardous materials were found, Johnson said. He said the Coast Guard is investigating why it wasn’t immediately reported.
In the meantime, clams from the vessel had already been delivered to Sea Watch International, a seafood processor in Milford, Delaware. More than 500 cases of clam chowder were impounded at the plant, and a truck was sent to a New Hampshire warehouse to retrieve 192 more cases, according to Michael Globetti, a spokesman for the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.
A phone message left with the captain of the ship Friday morning to ask about the delay in reporting it and to determine the condition of the crew member wasn’t immediately returned.
Sea Watch did not return phone calls seeking comment.
Lauren Sucher, a spokeswoman for the FDA, said it was unlikely that any of the clam chowder was contaminated, but “because it is not feasible to test all of the company’s product in a timely manner, the company has agreed to voluntarily destroy the entire product lot.”
The FDA doesn’t think there is any public health risk because it believes none of the chowder reached consumers, Sucher said.
The Sea Watch plant has been evacuated at least twice after the discovery of military explosive containing mustard agent. In 2004, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration fined it $9,000 because of safety violations involving exposure to vintage military explosives.
In 2010, a clam boat out of Atlantic City dredged up ordnance containing mustard agent while fishing about 45 miles south of Fire Island, New York. Two crew members were taken to a hospital, and some 39,000 pounds of clams were isolated at a Sea Watch plant in New Bedford, Massachusetts.
Mustard gas, a chemical-warfare agent used in combat by the U.S. during World War I, can cause skin blisters, lung damage, blindness and death.
Johnson said people who suspect they have come into contact with unexploded ordnance should get away from it and contact the Coast Guard.
Terrance P. Long Post 1-902-577-9439 (Canada)
International Dialogue on Underwater Munitions (IDUM) Seeks Sponsors for Scientific Investigation and Underwater Technologies
Terrance P. Long
Co Director at DAIMON
Soon Chris will take us to explore a deep water chemical weapons site off of California eight to ten thousand feet underwater. IDUM is proud to assist Chris Welsh during his historic dives, to ensure everyone’s safety and to investigate the deep water chemical weapons sites. Pentarius Sub will change the ocean as we know it today. The next frontier is our seas and ocean so we can better understand “Mother Earth” and how best to protect her from environmental contaminates, such as deep water chemical releases including recently found PCB’s in Marana’s Trench. IDUM seeks sponsors and partners to assist our scientific investigations and development of underwater technologies. We welcome industry partners including offshore operators and munitions response companies, ocean protection organizations or foundations. For additional information or potential sponsors please email email@example.com
Watch for IDUM “new website” being released this month, with up-dates on our activities, including NATO Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Summer School on Underwater Chemical Weapons at Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) in Canada, World Ocean day and our cooperation at the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta Georgia on an Expert Panel on Underwater Chemical Weapons and the relationship Human Health. IDUM needs your kind support to study our seas and ocean. Thank you for your time and consideration. Terrance P. Long, Chair, IDUM
Volunteer the Hague is a non-profit initiative founded by the Municipality of the Hague, that matches talents and skills of internationals with the needs of local non-profit organizations to build a more vibrant community for everyday living in the Hague area.
Please visit www.volunteerthehague.nl for more information.
Many honorable organizations have been invited to take place during the event: Help Kobane, Stichting Den Haag Narathon, The Indian Film Festival The Hague, Biblionef, Present Den Haag, UNICEF, and The International Dialogue on Underwater Munitions (IDUM).
All the representatives were able to talk about the participating Organizations, and the brilliant work that all of them are doing in The Hague, and all over the world.
The International Dialogue on Underwater Munitions, in particular, showed itself as one of the most outstanding Organizations, and has attracted over 20 volunteers who will make a great team to support the Organization’s cause and mission of cleaning both chemical and conventional munitions in our Oceans worldwide.
This event showed itself as a unique experience that allowed for the IDUM to have a one-on-one interaction with other local non-profit organizations as well as many like-minded, warm-hearted, and inspiring volunteers.
We are looking forward to welcome them in our Organization soon.
Carcinogens find their way to us via the fish we eat, including Lobsters. Cape Breton cancer rates one of the highest in Canada.
A interview with Terrance P. Long on Underwater Munitions.
World Ocean Day, 5 June 2016, The Hague (in cooperation with the Sea First Foundation)
The Sea First Foundation is deeply concerned about the poor state of our oceans, and the problems that this brings to humans, animals and the environment. The Sea First Foundation brings the beauty and diversity of the underwater world to the general public, and at the same time raises awareness through sensitization and education about the issues that stand in the way of a healthy world.
Kindly welcomed by the Sea First Foundation, the International Dialogue on Underwater Munitions visited and participated in the first in The Hague for the Foundation, the World Ocean Day.
The IDUM presented its mission, and concerns of the issues connected to the underwater munitions in a brief introduction, and a speech by the Executive Manager of the The Hague office, Diana Pyrikova:
“Together we stand and reflect on issues facing our oceans, where the underwater munitions present hidden but great threat to our oceans, and our lives. The Marine Environment is facing great challenges, and without a shift in our approach to our seas and oceans there will be no oceans left for the future generations. Without any action the next generations will inherit the oceans that could not be recognized, and most importantly could not be recovered.
Over the course of our lifetime our oceans have changed: they have fewer pristine areas, and even more so they posses danger to our environment and our health. Therefore we need to do more to protect our most vulnerable parts of the ocean, and should “lean up the munitions from the ocean floor.”
In the inspiring discussion, representatives of the IDUM met many compassionate people who are highly concerned of the issues facing our oceans. Besides, a fruitful discussion with the president of the SeaFirst Foundation, Mr Dos Winkel, led to a mutual cooperation on a project that will help to improve the current state of our oceans.
Happy World Ocean Day!
Video Press Conference, 26 May 2016, The Hague (together with the Nieuwspoort)
Nieuwspoort – is an international press centrum, and a foundation that caters to Dutch politicians, lobbyists, and journalists so they can informally meet. It is a place that holds all the important Dutch press conferences and, most importantly, where the Dutch Prime Minister delivers his weekly address.
On 26 May 2016, the International Dialogue on Underwater Munitions (IDUM) held its first event at the international press center, Nieuwspoort, where the representatives of the organization in The Hague welcomed many high guests. Representatives of many NGOs such as SeaFirst Foundation, ACCESS, etc., special journalists, and the representatives of the Dutch Government Sector all came to listen about the importance of the monition dumpings, and its consequences on our seas and oceans.
Due to the extensive amounts of work in Canada, the founder of the IDUM, Mr. Terrance Long, could not attend the press conference in person, but managed to convey the important message through the video call. He emphasized that IDUM is collaborating with many International Leaders, and Organizations to better understand the socio-economic impact from years of decaying underwater munitions.
“Munitions can be found in major quantities in every ocean in the world. They can be found from a reservoir in Jakarta, Indonesia to the pristine lakes of the Swiss Alps at the foot of the Edger to the Great Lakes of North America. In addition to those dumped at sea, a vast number of munitions have been abandoned in rivers, lakes, reservoirs, and inland waterways. Former inland sites remain largely unrecognized, and are today found near many populated areas. In some cases, they share the same waters used by communities for human consumption and irrigation purposes.”
“In the years directly following the World War II, reportedly, ships carrying mustard gas left regularly from Sydney and Halifax for local dumpings. In Argentina, large boats left every two days to dump munitions in the Cabot Strait, for a five-month period.” Engaging with the Dutch public, Mr. Long emphasized that in the North Sea alone lying more than 1700 sites of chemical and conventional munitions.
In a fruitful discussion with the guests, it was concluded that many activities are already in place to cleanup the munitions, but many more drastic actions need to be taken to leave a clean ocean for our future generations. Most immediate reaction from the guests was taken through signing the petition “Call for an immediate United Nations Conference on Underwater Chemical, Radiological and Conventional Weapons dumped at sea to create a binding Treaty on for the environmentally friendly cleanup of our ocean and seas.” This petition is just one of the ways to get us closer to clean oceans and seas for us all.
If we remove the weapons from our waters, the fish will never miss them…
Please sign the petition: https://goo.gl/PTMhyE
CBC: Radio Canada International
Around the world thousands of tons of munitions lie rusting on the ocean floor. They consist of both explosives and chemical weapons. As the metal rusts away, the toxic chemicals are exposed causing an environmental wasteland around them.
Terrence Long is chairman of the International Dialogue on Underwater Munitions,(IDUM) a Canadian and Dutch-based NGO.
Long says the leaking munitions on the seafloor have already been affecting marine life and it will only get worse.
He was involved in the first weapons identification programme called the Search and Assessment of Chemical Weapons Baltic Sea (CHEMSEA), a three‐year investigation in the Baltic Sea
In exploration of many sites where leakage has occurred, he said there was no life at all on the ocean floor. He says fish caught near such sites often displayed cancers on the skin or internally.
The research also found young fish to be sterile thus preventing fish such as cod from proliferating and thereby contributing to a decline in stocks.
The second chemical weapons program, is on‐going with NATO Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Towards the Monitoring of Dumped Munitions (MODUM), that employs new and emerging technologies to detect, map, investigate, sample, and analyze chemical weapons and warfare materials.
The third chemical and conventional weapons program, started recently “Decision Aid for Marine Munitions” (DAIMON) aims to increase the knowledge base to evaluate risks and benefits of various management options for the assessment of how dumped ammunition impacts ecosystem, maritime activities, and humans as seafood consumers. Long is currently speaking to members of the Atlanta-base US Centre for Disease Control (CDC) about human health risks associated with dumped munitions.
Long is also currently involved in the NATO Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Summer School for Young Sciences on Sea Dumped chemical Weapons in Halifax.
In spite of these programmes, Long says it’s not nearly enough of an effort to deal with a massive worldwide problem. He would like to see the United Nations get behind the idea and propose a large scale international effort.
Long says with literally tens of thousands, if not millions, of tonnes of munitions rusting on the ocean floor, the potential for a slow but steady marine catastrophe is a very real and very present danger.