Description: Lawsuit to compel the designation of critical habitat for threatened coral species.
Center for Biological Diversity v. Ross
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 02/27/2020 Settlement Agreement Download Parties entered into stipulated settlement agreement. Fisheries Service Agreed to Make Critical Habitat Determinations for Coral Species. Pursuant to a settlement agreement filed in federal district court in the District of Columbia, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and other federal defendants agreed to make proposed determinations concerning designation of critical habitat for 12 species of coral listed as threatened and found in U.S. waters. The Center for Biological Diversity, which filed suit in 2019, alleged in its complaint that the coral species face an “extinction crisis due to the threats of climate change, ocean acidification, disease, overfishing, and pollution, among others.” In the settlement agreement, NMFS agreed to make the proposed critical habitat determinations by July 31, 2020. 08/21/2019 Complaint Download Complaint filed. Lawsuit Filed to Compel Designation of Critical Habitat for Coral Species. The Center for Biological Diversity filed a lawsuit in federal court in the District of Columbia asserting that the National Marine Fisheries Services (NMFS) had failed to comply with its nondiscretionary obligation under the Endangered Species Act to designate critical habitat for five species of Florida and Caribbean coral and seven species of Pacific coral. NMFS designated the species as threatened in 2014. The complaint alleged that the coral species face an “extinction crisis due to the threats of climate change, ocean acidification, disease, overfishing, and pollution, among others” but that “bold and immediate action” to protect habitats could improve resiliency for many species.