Today, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service designated 5,855 square miles of nearshore waters in Alaska as critical habitats for the threatened sea otter, writes ENN.com. The areas along the Aleutian Islands, Bering Sea, and Alaskan Peninsula will be protected by a court order that resulted from a lawsuit against the Service by the Center for Biological Diversity. The designation is a major victory for the Center, which petitioned the Service in 2000 to have sea otters be protected under the Endangered Species Act. Two lawsuits followed in the next five years.
-- Lisa Lombardi