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1st sea turtle nest found on Mississippi beach since 2018

PASS CHRISTIAN, Miss. (AP) — Beach crews have found the first sea turtle nest on the Mississippi mainland in four years.

Officials say a Harrison County Sand Beach crew that was cleaning up found what appeared to be turtle tracks just east of the Pass Christian Harbor. They protected the area and called the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies in Gulfport, which followed the tracks to a nesting site that is now marked off with stakes and tape.

Scientists say the Mississippi Sound and Gulf of Mexico are important sea turtle habitats, but the 2010 oil spill and the 2019 opening of the Bonnet Carré Spillway hurt the turtle population.