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NOAA awards $2.7 million to rescue stranded marine mammals and investigate health problems

Contact:
Jennie  Lyons
(301) 427-8013
(202) 603-9372 (Cell)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
September 15, 2014

NOAA Fisheries announced today the award of 35 grants to partner organizations in 18 states totaling $2.7 million to respond to and rehabilitate stranded marine mammals and collect data on their health.

The John H. Prescott Marine Mammal Rescue Assistance Grant Program allows funding for academic institutions, nonprofit organizations and state agencies that are members of the National Marine Mammal Stranding Network and that apply for assistance. (A detailed list of the 2014 round of annual grants awarded follows.)

"These Prescott Grants help provide humane care for marine mammals that are sick, injured, or in danger,” said Dr. Teri Rowles, NOAA Fisheries lead marine mammal veterinarian and coordinator of the Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program. “The money also supports vital research of top-level predators and indicator species that eat many of the same fish that we do and often live in coastal areas we use. Monitoring their health and signs of illness is one way to take the pulse of the planet, helping us understand the signals of a changing marine environment.”

“Our core mission at NOAA Fisheries includes the conservation, protection and recovery of protected resources, including whales, dolphins, seals, and sea turtles,” said Eileen Sobeck, assistant NOAA administrator for NOAA Fisheries. “These grants tie directly to that mission and help our stranding partners do their jobs on the front lines of response and rehabilitation.”

The Stranding Network is comprised of trained professionals and volunteers from more than 100 organizations that partner with NOAA Fisheries to investigate marine mammal strandings, rehabilitate animals, and assist with research on marine mammal health issues. NOAA Fisheries relies on its long-standing partnership with Stranding Network members to obtain the vital information about marine mammal health needed to develop effective conservation programs for marine mammal populations in the wild.

Since the Prescott Grant Program’s inception, NOAA Fisheries has awarded 483 Prescott grants to members of the marine mammal Stranding Network, totaling more than $42.8 million. Over the years, Prescott grants have enabled Stranding Network members to improve operations, such as: expanding response coverage; enhancing response capabilities and data collection; and improving rehabilitation of marine mammals.

Prescott Grants are made under Title IV of the Marine Mammal Protection Act, which authorizes NOAA Fisheries to fund eligible members of the National Stranding Network through grants and cooperative agreements.

For more information about the Prescott Grant Program, details on each 2014 grant, eligibility requirements, and funding opportunities, please go to: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/health/prescott/

Prescott Grant Awarded in FY14

State

Applicant

Project Title

Federal Funding

Greater Atlantic Region

CT

Sea Research Foundation, Inc. Support and Enhancement for the Marine Mammal Stranding Program at Sea Research Foundation's Mystic Aquarium

$46,745

DE

Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Support comprehensive stranding response, data collection and analysis, and health assessment for stranded marine mammals in Delaware

$49,203

MA

National Marine Life Center, Inc. Expansion and Enhancements of Seal Rehabilitation in Massachusetts

$79,861

MD

Maryland Department of Natural Resources Maryland DNR Marine Mammal Stranding Program - Response, Diagnostic Sample Analysis and Scientific Publication of the Twenty-Year Summary

$55,705

ME

College of the Atlantic Maintenance and Enhancement of the Marine Mammal Stranding Response Program (MMSRP) for the Mid-Coast/Downeast Region of Maine, 2013-2014

$79,996

ME

Marine Mammals of Maine Project On-Call: To provide proven timely support for operations, educational outreach, data collection and data sharing regarding stranded marine mammals in Mid-coast and Southern, Maine

$83,878

NY

Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation Support Facility Operation to Maintain Response, Treatment and Data Collection of Live and Dead Marine Mammals in New York State

$100,000

VA

Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center Foundation, Inc. Support Expert Stranding Response, Rehabilitation, and Data Collection for Marine Mammals in Virginia

$96,630

Southeast Region

FL

Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission Northeast Florida Marine Mammal Stranding Network Response Enhancement

$41,895

FL

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Florida Marine Mammal Stranding Network Coordination and Response in Southwest Florida

$80,593

FL

Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute Supporting marine mammal stranding response along the east coast of central Florida and enhancing first response throughout the southeastern United States

$99,964

FL

Mote Marine Laboratory Rapid detection, response, upgraded radiograph capabilities, and disentanglement efforts for stranded cetaceans in central west Florida

$99,615

GA

Georgia Aquarium, Inc. Provide for Specimen Preservation for Marine Mammal Stranding Cases within the Southeast United States region (SEUS)

$10,045

IL

Chicago Zoological Society Post-Release Monitoring of Injured or Stranded Cetaceans in the Southeastern U.S.

$49,933

LA

Audubon Nature Institute, Inc./Audubon Commission Louisiana Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Rescue Program (LMMSTRP): continued operations and response for live and dead marine mammal strandings

$32,398

LA

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enhanced operations and rapid response for marine mammal strandings and rescues along the Louisiana Coast

$67,602

NC

North Carolina Department of Environment & Natural Resources Marine Mammal Stranding Response in Central Coastal and Northern North Carolina

$93,252

NC

University of North Carolina Wilmington Response to and Coordination of Marine Mammals Strandings in North Carolina

$99,904

TX

Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network Support for basic operational needs of the Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network for the recovery and investigation of live and deceased marine mammal strandings

$79,778

West Coast Region

CA

California Academy of Sciences Enhancing response and data collection from dead stranded marine mammals in northern California through complete necropsies including CT scans of Odontocetes

$49,413

CA

California Wildlife Center Marine Mammal Rehabilitation Facility Upgrades and Consistent Program Coverage

$82,959

CA

Channel Islands Cetacean Research Unit Establishment of a Cetacean Bio-Surveillance Program in Central and Southern California

$82,150

CA

MAR3INE (on behalf of the Marine Mammal Care Center at Fort MacArthur) Husbandry Enhancements at the Marine Mammal Care Center at Fort MacArthur

$95,450

CA

Southern California Coastal Water Research Project Enhanced cataloguing of bioaccumulative chemicals in stranded marine mammals to assess health impacts

$99,717

CA

The Regents of the University of California, Davis Diagnostic Testing Support for the Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Network and Unusual Mortality Events

$99,383

CA

The Regents of the University of California, Santa Cruz Enhanced Stranding Response and A New Response Partnership Between The Long Marine Lab and Moss Landing Stranding Networks

$88,781

OR

Oregon State University Supporting and enhancing the Oregon Marine Mammal Stranding Network

$99,978

OR

Portland State University Restoring Comprehensive Response for the Northern Oregon/Southern Washington Marine Mammal Stranding Program (NOSWSP

$100,000

WA

Progressive Animal Welfare Society, Inc. Advancement in Rehabilitative Care of Live Stranded Pinnipeds in the Southern Salish Sea: Treatment-Data Collection and Compilation, Water Quality, and Facility Upgrade

$49,717

WA

The Whale Museum Stranding Response, Disease Surveillance and Spatial Analysis of Strandings in San Juan County, WA

$62,365

WA

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Investigating causes of mortality and providing response to stranded marine mammals in Washington State

$100,000

WA

Wolf Hollow Wildlife Rehabilitation Center Stranded Pinniped Rehabilitation Program in Washington State: treatment, facility improvements, training, diagnostic screening & data collection

$37,800

Alaska Region

AK

Seward Association for the Advancement of Marine Science Live Marine Mammal Response in Alaska: Rehabilitation & Readiness for Unusual Events 2014-2015

$99,720

Pacific Islands Region

HI

Hawaii Pacific University Trouble in Paradise: Investigating Emerging Disease While Conducting Stranding Response in Hawaii and the Greater Pacific

$87,500

HI

The Marine Mammal Center Support for a Hawaiian monk seal rehabilitation program: an essential tool to enhance survival of critically endangered seals

$99,448

 

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