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Officials approve naming beaches critical habitat for turtles

MISSISSIPPI GULF COAST — Officials say they won’t have any problems if Mississippi beaches are named critical habitat for endangered loggerhead sea turtles.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing nearly 750 miles of beaches from North Carolina to Mississippi as protected habitat.

South Carolina officials have said that could make it harder and more expensive to replenish their beaches. About two-dozen islands in four parts of South Carolina are listed in the proposal.

In Mississippi, only Petit Bois and Horn islands are listed.

Harrison County Sand Beach director Chuck Loftis tells the Sun Herald that in more than 20 years he has seen only a couple of sea turtle nests on the county shores. He says those areas were roped off and people were kept away.


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