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Sunday, October 20, 2019

Group files lawsuit to get feds to take action on threatened species of coral

Federal Court

By Carrie Bradon | Sep 23, 2019


WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) – The Center for Biological Diversity alleges a federal department has failed to designate a habitat as required by federal law for several threatened species of coral.

Center for Biological Diversity filed a complaint on Aug. 21 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia against U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries Assistant Administrator Chris Oliver and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) alleging violation of the Endangered Species Act and the Administrative Procedures Act.

The plaintiff alleges that Ross and the NMFS are in violation of the Endangered Species Act through their failure to designate critical habitats within the U.S. waters for species of Florida and Caribbean corals. The plaintiff alleges the NMFS listed 20 corals as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act in 2014 and 12 of those 20 are in U.S. waters, but the service has not designated a critical habitat required by the act.

The plaintiff is seeking declaratory judgment against the defendants, an order to designate a critical habitat for the corals, attorneys' fees, court costs, interest and just relief. The plaintiff is represented by Catherine Cain Ware Kilduff and Emily Jeffers at the Center for Biological Diversity in Norfolk, Virginia, and Oakland, California.

U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia case number 1:19-CV-02526

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