The critically endangered leatherback returns each year to nest on the beach, which is one of only three significant nesting sites left in the United States. Leatherbacks are especially vulnerable to the effects of development activity such as beach renourishment and artificial lighting. In response to a petition from the Sierra Club in August 2011, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service expressed its intent to review and revise the designated critical habitat for the leatherback, and possibly add the NEC as a critical habitat. This review process, however, will likely take several years, and would only afford protection from Federal actions, leaving the NEC vulnerable to private development.
Borak. Mark. "Weak Planning Process Frustrates Protection of Puerto Rico’s Threatened Coastline." Sustainable Development Law & Policy 12, no. 1 (2011): 23, 51, 58.