Center for Biological Diversity

Center for Biological Diversity Media Advisory, December 3, 2017

Contact:  Hideki Yoshikawa, international director, Save the Dugong Campaign Center,
Patrick Sullivan, Center for Biological Diversity, (415) 517-9364,

American Delegation to Report on U.S. Military Base Threat to Henoko Bay Dugongs  

Environmental Group Vows to Intensify Fight Against Base Expansion

TOKYO— A delegation from the U.S.-based Center for Biological Diversity and Okinawan leaders of the opposition to an American military base expansion will hold a press conference Monday, Dec. 4, at 2 p.m. at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan in Tokyo. Representatives of the Center and Okinawan organizations will discuss their legal challenges to the planned military air base expansion in Henoko-Oura Bay in Okinawa, Japan. The U.S. base would destroy crucial habitat for the critically endangered Okinawa dugong.

“This base is an assault on Okinawa and a death sentence for the dugong,” said Peter Galvin, cofounder of the Center. “In solidarity with the Okinawan people, we’re redoubling our efforts to save these wonderful and culturally significant animals from the U.S. military’s incredibly destructive project.”

Led by Galvin and Mati Waiya, a Center board member and prominent American Indian ceremonial leader from the Chumash Tribe in California, a delegation recently visited the site of the proposed expansion. The base would destroy seagrass beds dugongs need to survive by filling in an area of the bay the size of 1,500 basketball courts.

Earlier this year a U.S. court affirmed the right of the Center and other conservation groups and Okinawan citizens to sue under the U.S. National Historic Preservation Act to compel the U.S. military to fully consider the impacts of building the base. Okinawa dugongs are cultural icons for the Okinawan people.

What: Press conference about efforts to save the Okinawa dugong by challenging the U.S. military’s construction of an expanded air base in Henoko-Oura Bay.

When: Monday, Dec. 4 at 2 p.m.

Where: Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan in Tokyo.

  • Peter Galvin, cofounder of the Center for Biological Diversity
  • Yoshikazu Makishi, Okinawan plaintiff in the Center’s lawsuit against the U.S. military
  • Hideki Yoshikawa, international director of Save the Dugong Campaign Center

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.5 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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