After federal rollback, Virginia offers new bird protections

Virginia News

In this July 23, 2002, file photo, a common tern flies over roosting laughing gulls on the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel island in Suffolk, Va. Virginia officials announced plans Friday, Feb. 1, 2020. to create new habitat for about 25,000 seabirds after their nesting grounds were paved for the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel expansion project, a case that highlighted weakened protections for birds under President Donald Trump. (John H. Sheally II/The Virginian-Pilot via AP, File)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia officials are announcing plans to create a new habitat for about 25,000 seabirds that lost their nesting site when it was paved over by crews working on a state tunnel expansion project.

Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam’s office said Friday that officials will create a new nesting habitat for the birds by preparing an artificial island adjacent to the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel and take other steps to protect migratory birds.

Northam’s administration said the state was acting because of the Trump administration’s new interpretation of a federal law that removes some protections for more than 1,000 migratory bird species.

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