BEAUFORT, CARTERET - The N.C. Coastal Resources Commission is meeting in Beaufort to discuss issues that include new protections for sea turtles.
The StarNews of Wilmington reported the 15-member commission meets Thursday, when members will hear an update on the state's response to critical habitat designation for sea turtles in North Carolina.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service set up that designation in April. The critical habitat encompasses 739 miles along the eastern seaboard. In North Carolina, eight areas are highlighted.
Federal officials noted the designation should have a minimal effect on beach access and activities on non-federal land since the Endangered Species Act already covers sea turtles. The exception is when a project such as beach nourishment or inlet dredging requires federal money, permits or any other type of federal involvement.