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Pinellas Beaches Not Named Critical Sea Turtle Habitat

The federal government designated about 300 miles of the state’s beaches as critical habitat for loggerhead sea turtles, but left Pinellas off the list.

Property owners along hundreds of miles of Florida coastland might face stricter rules when trying to build seawalls and other structures thanks to a move by the federal government to protect critical habit for the threatened loggerhead sea turtle.

Pinellas beaches, however, were not on the list of land marked for protection by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

Even so, a good chuck of the state, including some the Panhandle and the Sarasota area are included.

Loggerheads are protected under the Endangered Species Act and are found throughout Florida’s coastal areas, but have habitats that extend into many tropical regions of the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans, according to NOAA.

“The loggerhead nesting aggregations in Oman, the U.S., and Australia account for about 88% of nesting worldwide,” NOAA’s website says. “In the southeastern U.S., about 80 percent of loggerhead nesting occurs in six Florida counties (Brevard, Indian River, St. Lucie, Martin, Palm Beach, and Broward Counties).”

 Read the Times’ full story here.

Do you think Pinellas County should have been added to the list? Tell us your thoughts by commenting below!

P.A.M. Sewart July 10, 2014 at 10:18 AM
yes, of course

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