Critical habitat designation will help protect the waters where Atlantic sturgeon feed, seek cover, and reproduce. This is because designation of a habitat area as critical prevents federal agencies from funding or undertaking activities in the habitat if the activity will destroy or adversely modify that habitat. With sturgeon populations down as much as 95+ percent in some rivers and the threats to the species severe and wide-ranging, including fishing, dams, pollution, dredging, vessel strikes, and, increasingly, climate change, the species needs all the help it can get.
The Atlantic sturgeon-a gargantuan, armor-plated fish that can top 14 feet and 800 pounds-has swum in our waters for more than 70 million years. We are going to federal court today to make sure it is around for another 70 million to come.
This post originally appeared on NRDC's Switchboard.