US Agency To Investigate Dredging Threat And Sea Turtles More Detailed

It has been agreed that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will research how its dredging activities affect sea turtles in the state of Georgia. Sand is removed from rivers through dredging. On Friday, the agency made its decision public. Not long afterward, the non-profit organization One Hundred Miles retracted their lawsuit to halt digging. “The Corps has now committed to what we’ve asked for, to go back and review the science,” Catherine Ridley, a vice president of the group, said Monday.

 

Sea turtles are at risk due to seasonal dredging, according to scientific evidence, she stated. Furthermore, she claimed that it jeopardizes Georgia’s decades-long advancements in environmental protection. The now-retracted lawsuit got underway in December 2022. But since 2021, environmentalists have been opposing dredging. In that same year, the Corps declared it would discontinue a rule that prohibited dredging in shipping lanes during sea turtle breeding season. Since 1991, there had been a seasonal ban. The strong pumps required to extract the sand are hazardous. Animals can be harmed or killed by them. In regions where dredging occurs, many female turtles spend the warmer months. Dredging therefore ceased for those months under the 1991 directive.

 

The policy is credited by conservationists as contributing to the recovery and population growth of sea turtles. Maintaining open shipping channels is the responsibility of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. It added in a statement, that a comprehensive study will ensure the public, government and those interested who are involved in the examination. It further stated that researchers will consider every potential impact of dredging on both people and the environment. Dredging has been done in Georgia and the states of North and South Carolina from around December to March since the 1990s. Giant loggerhead sea turtles, which are protected by federal law, typically begin laying eggs in the region in May. The Kemp’s ridley and endangered green sea turtle populations are also declining.

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