Some great news from Okinawa in Japan!

A final ruling has been issued requiring the US Department of Defense to consider impacts of a new airbase on the endangered Okinawa dugong in order to avoid or mitigate any harm.

Local communities and conservationists are concerned that a 1.5-mile-long

runway, proposed to be built over seagrass beds, would destroy the remaining

habitat of the endangered Okinawa dugong, a cultural icon of the Okinawan

people.

The U.S. airbase expansion at Henoko Bay would involve destroying large areas of seagrass -- home and feeding grounds for the 12 remaining dugongs in Japan. Hopefully, the court-ordered review and public airing of the impacts of the project will cause the US and Japanese governments to halt the base expansion plans and avoid driving the Okinawa dugong further toward extinction.

-- Read the decision here.

-- Read the full press release from the Center for Biological Diversity