Critical Habitat for Loggerhead Sea Turtle
We, the NOAA Fisheries, issue a final rule to designate critical habitat for the Northwest Atlantic Ocean Distinct Population Segment (DPS) of the loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) within the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico pursuant to the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA). Specific areas for designation include 38 occupied marine areas within the range of the Northwest Atlantic Ocean DPS. These areas contain one or a combination of habitat types: Nearshore reproductive habitat, winter area, breeding areas, constricted migratory corridors, and/or Sargassum habitat. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) is issuing a final rule for loggerhead critical habitat for terrestrial areas (nesting beaches) in a separate document. No marine areas meeting the definition of critical habitat were identified within the jurisdiction of the United States for the North Pacific Ocean DPS, and therefore we are not designating critical habitat for that DPS.