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Puerto Rico protects top US turtle nesting site long eyed by developers

Puerto Rico's governor has signed legislation to protect a swath of land along the island's northeast coast that serves as a top U.S. nesting site for the world's largest turtle.

The law ends a 15-year fight that activists and celebrities including actor Benicio Del Toro waged against developers eager to build hotels, golf courses and luxury homes in an area fringed by palm trees and turquoise waters.

The area is called the Northeast Ecological Corridor and covers more than 1,200 hectares (2,900 acres) of lush vegetation and pristine beaches that are a nesting site for the federally endangered leatherback turtle. It is also the site of a popular bioluminescent bay, featuring microorganisms that glow in the dark when agitated.

Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla signed the bill on Saturday.