Advocacy Groups Prevail in ESA Lawsuit to Protect Endangered Whales and Turtles

federal court ruled in favor of the Center for Biological Diversity and Friends of the Earth in an Endangered Species Act (ESA) lawsuit challenging the alleged failure of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries and the U.S. Coast Guard to protect endangered fin, blue, and humpback whales and leatherback sea turtles from being struck by ships using California ports. In granting plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment, the court ruled that the 2017 Biological Opinion (2017 BiOp), upon which the agencies relied, violated the ESA, and therefore their reliance on the 2017 BiOp was arbitrary and capricious.