News | May 21, 2021

Court orders U.S. Army Corps to halt Georgia coastal dredging plans

In a win for loggerhead turtles, other coastal wildlife, and conservationists, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia just granted SELC’s preliminary injunction ordering the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to halt hopper dredging activity set to begin this month.

After the Corps committed that dredging in the Brunswick Harbor would begin no earlier than May 28, the Court held a hearing yesterday on our challenge against the agency’s unlawful decision to eliminate seasonal limitations on hopper dredging projects that have successfully protected sea turtles and other marine life for decades without an adequate environmental review.

“State and federal agencies have relied on seasonal dredging windows for decades for the simple fact that these windows have proven to be effective in reducing risks to sea turtles and other coastal wildlife,” says Attorney Megan Huynh, who argued the case.

We filed the lawsuit on behalf of One Hundred Miles. In a previous brief, the Corps conceded that One Hundred Miles would ultimately succeed on the merits and admitted that the agency violated federal law when it failed to conduct an environmental review of its actions.

Says Catherine Ridley, coordinator for the St. Simons Island Sea Turtle Project and vice president of education and communications at One Hundred Miles: “We are pleased the court recognized what’s at stake here for Georgia’s protected loggerhead sea turtles, particularly given the Corps’ admission that it violated federal law by not conducting an adequate environmental review.”  

Want more SELC Stories? Get our monthly enewsletter featuring highlights from across the South.