I received an email today through Oceana, in response to my earlier post concerning the US Fish and Wildlife’s move to protect loggerhead sea turtle nesting site along the Atlantic and Gulf coast regions.
The attached release reports the USFWS move comes after a lawsuit was filed earlier this year – by the Center for Biological Diversity, Oceana and the Turtle Island Restoration Network. It seems federal agencies had failed to act on petitions filed by the organizations, pushing for protections for the important nesting regions.
The full press release:
U.S. Government Finally Acts in Response to Conservation Lawsuits
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.— After five years of delay, the federal government today finally proposed to protect more than 739 miles of critical habitat for threatened loggerhead sea turtles on their nesting beaches along the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf coasts. These sea turtles face serious threats to their long-term survival from drowning in fishing nets, loss of nesting beaches due to coastal development and sea-level rise. The proposal spans from North Carolina to Mississippi and encompasses 84 percent of all known nesting areas.
Today’s action by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service comes as a result of a lawsuit filed earlier this year by conservation groups Center for Biological Diversity, Oceana, and Turtle Island Restoration Network, after federal agencies failed to respond to separate petitions filed by the groups to strengthen protections for all loggerhead populations in the U.S. dating back to 2007.
“The Southeast’s nesting loggerheads swim thousands of miles through an obstacle course of human-made hazards,” said Jaclyn Lopez, a Florida attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity. “Protected beach habitat will help ensure that when they reach our beaches, exhausted and ready to nest, they’re met with true southern hospitality: plenty of food, good conditions for nesting, and safe beaches for hatchlings to leave their nests so they may someday return to continue the cycle of life.”
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