US to Require Gulf Coast States to Diversify to Protect Fossils, Sea Creatures

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The U.S. government wants to protect 20 species, including rare migratory birds and the endangered sandhill crane, in four Gulf Coast states from oil spills, hurricanes and other threats.

Federal regulators also want states to begin adopting emergency protective measures at the beginning of hurricane season, which begins June 1, such as sandbags and building floodwalls, according to a draft proposal made public on Thursday.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration plan to announce their plans at a Friday ceremony in Miami, where Florida Gov. Rick Scott will host endangered species officer Bonita Harris, CNN reported. The agency cannot compel states to adopt plans, but cannot decline to nominate them, federal officials said.

“These plans will ensure those species whose recoveries are most in jeopardy are protected from threats to their recovery,” Harris said.

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