We’re fighting to protect Georgia’s sea turtles.
On May 3, 2021, OHM, represented by the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC), filed a challenge against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ unlawful decision to eliminate highly successful seasonal limitations on dredging projects that have protected sea turtles and other marine life for decades.
The lawsuit and motion for a preliminary injunction filed with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia alleged that the Corps did not conduct the environmental review required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). We won our motion for a preliminary injunction and the Corps was ordered to halt all hopper dredging until December 15, 2021. However, we are continuing our work to prevent this dangerous plan from ever becoming a reality on Georgia’s coast.
Dead sea turtles killed by a hopper dredge
The Corps’ reckless plan isn’t based on scientific data.
Both OHM and SELC agree that routine operations and management dredging plays an essential role in keeping Georgia’s harbors safe and navigable—but assert that these needs can continue to be safely met in adhering to established winter dredging windows, as has been done for three decades. Further, they reject the Corps’ claims that winter dredging poses a risk to the North Atlantic right whale, pointing to more than three decades of scientific data showing no injuries, fatalities, or other interactions between dredge vessels and right whales.
During the Corps’ recent comment period, nearly 1,000 advocates spoke out in opposition. And DNR’s two-week comment period in March 2021 generated more than 1,500 letters in opposition to year-round maintenance dredging in connection with the Brunswick Harbor Modification Study—a testament to Georgia’s long commitment to sea turtle conservation.
Read more about our case
The Brunswick News | 7/12/21
Savannah Morning News | 5/21/21
GPB | 5/21/21
The Brunswick News | 5/21/21
AP | 5/20/21
WABE | 5/20/21
Georgia Recorder | 5/20/21
WSAV | 5/20/21
AP | 5/3/21
WABE | 3/29/21
The Brunswick News | 3/29/21
WSAV | 3/27/21
GPB Savannah | 3/27/21
Savannah Morning News | 3/26/21
AP | 3/25/21
The Brunswick News | 3/18/21
VP, Education & Communications
“We’ve worked too long and too hard protecting Georgia’s sea turtles to turn back now. We cannot—and will not—allow the Corps of Engineers to throw away more than 50 years of conservation efforts and jeopardize the recovery of our beloved loggerheads.”
Please contact Catherine for more information about how you can take action to protect Georgia’s sea turtles.