Two federal agencies — the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration — are seeking to designate Perdido Key and nearby Gulf waters as critical habitat for loggerhead sea turtles.
But Escambia County says additional federal protection for the endangered species is unnecessary.
The county is about to adopt a wildlife lighting ordinance and its own habitat conservation plan that will provide as much or more protection for nesting sea turtles than what the federal government hopes to accomplish, said Tim Day, Escambia's environmental programs manager.
The conservation plan, seven years in the works, covers the beach mouse, four species of nesting sea turtles and piping plover shorebirds. It is expected to be adopted in the fall.
"At the local level, we value those coastal resources enough to develop these regulations so additional oversight is not necessary," Day said.
Under the proposed federal designation, any construction or beach nourishment in the habitat area that requires federal approval would allow for NOAA or Fish & Wildlife consultation to avoid or reduce impacts to the sea turtle and its habitat.
This may be a moot point when it comes to private construction because the county already prohibits all but dune crosswalk construction within the proposed federal habitat designation area, Day said.
Day does not expect the county to receive a response from Fish & Wildlife on its request to be excluded from the habitat designation for some time.
Read the full story at the Pensacola News Journal>>
National Fisherman Live: 10/21/14
In this episode:
North Pacific Council adjusts observer program
Fishermen: bluefin fishing best in 10 years
Catch limit raised for Bristol Bay red king crab
Canadian fishermen fight over lobster size rules
River conference addresses Dead Zone cleanup
National Fisherman Live: 10/7/14
In this episode, National Fisherman Publisher Jerry Fraser talks about the 1929 dragger Vandal.
NOAA and its fellow Natural Resource Damage Assessment trustees in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill have announced the signing of a formal Record of Decision to implement a gulf restoration plan. The 44 projects, totaling an estimated $627 million, will restore barrier islands, shorelines, dunes, underwater grasses and oyster beds.
The Golden Gate Salmon Association will host its 4th Annual Marin County Dinner at Marin Catholic High School, 675 Sir Francis Drake Blvd., Kentfield on Friday, Oct 10, with doors opening at 5:30 p.m.