Russ Bynum/Associated Press
A Georgia congressman wants lawmakers to block a federal agency from imposing new speed restrictions on boats and ships to protect a critically endangered whale species. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says requiring vessels to slow down along the U.S. East Coast would reduce the risk of collisions with North Atlantic right whales. Scientists believe the whales' population has dwindled to less than 340. U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter, whose district includes coastal Georgia, introduced a bill Friday to prohibit the agency from spending federal dollars on the rule changes until new technology can monitor coastal waters for right whales. Critics say the proposed restrictions would make boats slow down to speeds that are often unsafe.
Officials say cleanup efforts will take several days after oil leaking from the remains of an overturned cargo ship off the Georgia coast washed up on a beach popular with tourists. Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Himes said Monday that bands of oil released into the water during demolition of the shipwreck are being cleaned up along 2.5 miles of beaches on St. Simons Island. The first spill happened Saturday as crews manning a giant crane tried to lift a newly severed section of the ship from the water.