New homes, businesses or other structures built at beaches around Charleston would be scrutinized closer if the beaches are made critical habitat for the nesting loggerhead sea turtle, an environmental advocate says.

Oceana said the structures would be reviewed to make sure they don’t harm the turtles. The news release reacted to a U.S. Fish and Wildlife proposal to make “critical habitat” out of more than 700 miles of beaches in the Southeast to protect nesting.

Fish and Wildlife staffers said the designation was required by law and shouldn’t greatly affect how permits are handled now.

The areas include Folly Beach, Kiawah and Seabrook islands, much of Cape Romain and the ACE Basin.

Half the loggerhead nests laid outside of Florida are laid in South Carolina.

The designation would restrict some activities along the beaches, which are public grounds. At least one focus is cutting down lights, which can disorient hatching turtles at night.

Read more in upcoming editions of The Post and Courier.