Well, better than nothing I guess
Better than nothing, I guess. But, "The Navy welcomes an approach that relies more upon scientific research than litigation" kind of contradicts the "The Navy agrees that high-intensity military sonar can injure and kill whales, dolphins and other marine life"
It's good that some outcome came out of this rather than just having the case dropped, but they relied on litigation because, you know, damage was already known to be occuring and scientific research won't stop that while litigation could have. The research might show the extent of damage though... I bet once the research is done, these groups will just refile their suits, and then have actual data showing how serious a problem it is.
My question is, how much damage does it cause? A lightbulb will kill off any insects that fly within like an inch of it, but I wouldn't consider lightbulbs particularly bad (well, I do admit I now have the low-power bulbs, but it's not to help the bugs out, it's to save on the power bill..)... It's a big difference if the sonar is injuring creatures that get within like 50 feet of it, versus if it's injuring and deafening creatures for miles around.