Judge halts Georgia dredging plan over threat to sea turtles

Georgia News

FILE – In this July 5, 2019, file photo provided by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, a loggerhead sea turtle returns to the ocean after nesting on Ossabaw Island, Ga. A federal judge ordered an injunction Thursday, May 20, 2021, stopping the scheduled dredging of a Georgia shipping channel because of threats to nesting sea turtles. The Army Corps of Engineers wants to scrap a policy that for 30 years has protected rare sea turtles from being mangled and killed by dredged used to suck sediments from harbors in four Southern states. (Georgia Department of Natural Resources via AP, File)

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — A federal judge has halted plans to dredge a shipping channel on the Georgia coast, citing threats to nesting sea turtles. U.S. District Court Judge R. Stan Baker granted an injunction Thursday that was sought by an environmental group.

The group is suing the Army Corps of Engineers over a big change in how it dredges harbors in the Southeast.

For three decades the agency has limited dredging from the Carolinas to Florida to the winter to avoid killing sea turtles protected by the Endangered Species Act. Now the Corps wants to end those seasonal limits.

It had planned to dredge the harbor in coastal Brunswick, Georgia, starting next week.

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