Pacific sea otter reintroduction gets nudge from Congress

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — President Donald Trump on Wednesday signed this year’s federal budget, which includes a directive to study sea otter reintroduction in the Pacific Northwest. The Northwest News Network reports that Democratic U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley for Oregon added the paragraph to the budget bill. It directs the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to study the feasibility and cost of reestablishing the marine mammals where they were once hunted to near-extinction along the Pacific coast. But the signed directive did not include any additional funding to conduct the feasibility study. A report is expected by December 2022.