Stay connected with us
around the nation »

NOAA awards $2.75 million for marine mammal rescue efforts

Connie  Barclay
(301) 427-8003
(202) 441-2398 (Cell)
September 10, 2015

Today, NOAA Fisheries announced the award of $2.75 million in grant funding to partner organizations in 16 states to respond to and rehabilitate stranded marine mammals and collect data on their health. The John H. Prescott Marine Mammal Rescue Assistance Grant Program provides funding to non-profit and for-profit organizations, academic institutions, and state agencies that are members of the National Marine Mammal Stranding Network.

"Prescott grants help our national marine stranding response teams continue to improve their techniques, and supports our efforts toThe NY Riverhead Foundation treats a stranded dolphin establish links between the health of marine mammals, coastal communities and our coastal ecosystems,” said Dr. Teri Rowles, NOAA Fisheries lead marine mammal veterinarian and coordinator of the Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program. “The money supports vital information needed to protect and conserve whales, dolphins, seals and sea lions.”

“Prescott grants tie directly to NOAA Fisheries’ core mission, which includes the conservation, protection and recovery of protected marine resources, including whales, dolphins, seals and sea lions,” said Eileen Sobeck, assistant NOAA administrator for fisheries. “Helping our stranding partners do their jobs on the front lines of response and rehabilitation fits in perfectly with our goals.”

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 vitalA live sranded dolphin is treated by staff from the Viriginia Aquarium research about marine mammal health needed to develop effective conservation programs for marine mammal populations in the wild.

Since the Prescott Grant Program’s inception in 2001, NOAA Fisheries has awarded 518 Prescott grants to members of the National Marine Mammal Stranding Network, totaling more than $45.5 million. Over the years, Prescott grants have enabled 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 Marine Mammal Stranding Network through grants and cooperative agreements.

For more information about the Prescott Grant Program, details on each 2015 grant, eligibility requirements, and funding opportunities, please go to

NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Join us on TwitterFacebookInstagram and our other social media channels

Photo credits: (Top) NY Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation; (Bottom) Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center

FY 2015 Prescott Awards Summary Table – Breakdown by Region



Project Title

Federal Funding

Greater Atlantic Region


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



International Fund for Animal Welfare Pinniped Entanglement Investigation and Response in the Northeastern U.S.



National Marine Life Center, Inc. Continuing the Marine Mammal Morphological Parasite Laboratory



National Marine Life Center, Inc. Programmatic Support for Pinniped Rehabilitation in Northern New England: Enhancing Data Collection and Preparedness for Emergency Events



Seacoast Science Center, Inc. Building on the Success of the Seacoast Science Center's New Stranding Response Program



Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation Development and deployment of an Incident Management Team (IMT) through the continued support of the Specially Trained Animal Response Team (START)



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



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


Southeast Region


Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission Level 1 and Level 2 Necropsy Training for Increasing Quality of Level A, B, and C Data Collection by the Southeast Cetacean Stranding Network



Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute Supporting marine mammal stranding response, education and outreach along the east coast of central Florida: A region of repeated Unusual Mortality Events



Mote Marine Laboratory Mass stranding capacity building for equipment and training, and rapid detection, response and recovery of stranded cetaceans in Southwest Florida



The Florida Institute of Technology Multi-Regional HAB Toxin Diagnostics for the Marine Mammal Stranding Network



Chicago Zoological Society A National Service Center for Post-Release Monitoring of Small Cetaceans



Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Marine Mammal Stranding Response, Rescue and Recovery; Enhancing Operations, Rapid Response, and Sample Collection Along the Louisiana Coast



North Carolina Department of Environment & Natural Resources Marine Mammal Stranding Response in Central Coastal and Inland North Carolina and Continued Bottlenose Dolphin Post-UME Surveillance



University of North Carolina Wilmington Response to and Coordination of Marine Mammal Strandings in North Carolina with Special Emphasis on Bottlenose Dolphin Post-UME and Human Interaction Monitoring



Coastal Carolina University The South Carolina Marine Mammal Stranding Network: Restoring Stranding Response Capacity



Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network Support of the Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network (TMMSN) Rehabilitation and Research Program for Enhanced Investigation of Stranding Events along the Texas Coast


West Coast Region


California Academy of Sciences Improving staff and volunteer qualifications in order to enhance response and data collection from dead stranded marine mammals in southern Mendocino and Sonoma counties, California



California Wildlife Center Marine Mammal Rehabilitation Facility Upgrades and Consistent Coverage



Channel Islands Cetacean Research Unit Enhancement to CICRU's Bio-Surveillance and Cetacean Health Monitoring Program



Channel Islands Marine and Wildlife Institute Dedicated Support to Maintain Enhanced Operations and Coverage for Marine Mammal Stranding Response, Rehabilitation and Data Collection in Ventura County



Humboldt State University Sponsored Programs Foundation Vehicle and Programmatic Support for the HSU Marine Mammal Stranding Program serving Del Norte, Humboldt and Mendocino Counties in Northern California



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



Oregon State University Supporting and Enhancing the Capabilities of the Oregon Marine Mammal Stranding Network



Portland State University Tracking the Role of Human Interaction and Disease in the Northern Oregon/Southern Washington Marine Mammal Stranding Program



Cascadia Research Collective Marine mammal stranding response in Puget Sound and Washington Outer Coast, and for large cetaceans throughout Washington State, 2016-2018



Feiro Marine Life Center The Juan de Fuca Marine Mammal Stranding Network (JdF MMSN): Response and Volunteer Training



The Whale Museum Stranding Response and Disease Surveillance in San Juan County, Washington



Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Response and Investigating Causes of Mortality in Washington Marine Mammals


Alaska Region


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



University of Alaska Anchorage Continued Strengthening of Alaska's Marine Mammal Stranding Program through Collaborative Level B  and C Reporting; Diagnostic Support and Continuing Education for Stranding Network Members


Pacific Islands Region


Hawaii Pacific University Investigating Causes of Mortality in Pacific Cetaceans



The Marine Mammal Center Support for Hawaiian monk seal rehabilitation project designed to enhance survival of critically endangered seals