Why are dolphins at the heart of a Mississippi lawsuit?

Opening a spillway as a flood-control measure in 2019 sent polluted fresh water from the Mississippi River into the Gulf of Mexico and killed bottlenose dolphins that live in saltwater, according to a new lawsuit.

Several local governments and business groups on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, calling themselves the Mississippi Sound Coalition, filed the federal lawsuit Monday against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The lawsuit argues that the Marine Mammal Protection Act requires federal agencies, including the Corps of Engineers, to obtain a U.S. Department of Commerce permit when their actions may disrupt the behavioral patterns of an animal such as the bottlenose dolphin.

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