Scores of endangered turtles hurt by the unusual cold in Massachusetts have been brought to the Gulf Coast to be rehabilitated and eventually released into the wild.
Hundreds of cold-stunned young Kemp's ridley sea turtles have washed up on Massachusetts beaches since November. The condition, like human hypothermia, can be fatal.
The Audubon Aquarium of the Americas in New Orleans says it received 27 of the turtles on Monday. Institute for Marine Mammal Studies director Moby Solangi says 32 are in Gulfport.
The University of New Orleans has been awarded an 18-month $200,000 grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to protect sea turtles.
The project is aimed at improving a device used on shrimp boats.
That device is called an “excluder.”
It allows a captured sea turtle to escape when it’s caught up in a net.
Since 1978, all sea turtles in U.S. coastal waters have been classified as either threatened or endangered.
Four conservation groups say they'll sue the National Marine Fisheries Service because it's taking too long to analyze shrimping's effects on threatened and endangered sea turtles.
A letter sent Wednesday began a 60-day settlement period required before suing under the Endangered Species Act.
Fisheries spokeswoman Allison Garrett says the agency doesn't comment about pending or active litigation. She says the analysis is underway.