2019 John H. Prescott Marine Mammal Rescue Assistance Grant Awardees Announced

September 26, 2019

NOAA awards almost $4 million to stranding network partners in 18 states and one tribe through its John H. Prescott grants program.

Harbor seal is released onto beach

Release of a harbor seal rehabilitated at the National Aquarium in Baltimore using Prescott Grant funds. Credit: Theresa Keil

NOAA is awarding 43 grants totaling almost $4 million to our partners in the Marine Mammal Stranding Network in 18 states and one tribe. These grants support a core mission of NOAA Fisheries: the conservation and recovery of protected marine species. These partners help us improve our national marine mammal stranding response capabilities and support the goals of the Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program.

 Awards include:

  • Greater Atlantic Region (Maine through Virginia): 10 awards (total $811,738).
  • Southeast Region (North Carolina through Texas-including Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands): 9 awards (total $722,965).
  • West Coast Region (California through Washington): 10 awards (total $944,904).
  • Alaska Region: 4 awards (total $295,743).
  • Pacific Islands Region: 2 awards (total $200,000).
  • National: 8 awards (total $605,176) are for projects that meet national needs (collaboration and services) across regions.

This year’s funding supports stranding network partner activities that include:

  • Recovery and treatment (i.e., rehabilitation) of stranded marine mammals.
  • Data collection from live and dead stranded marine mammals for scientific research regarding marine mammal health.
  • Collaborative services that help stranding network organizations collect data and analyze samples.

  • Facility operations directly related to these purposes.

Since the John H. Prescott Grant program was established in 2000, we have awarded $60.2 million to partners. Our stranding network partners have leveraged an additional $19.8 million. The program has built a strong network of more than 100 trained, professional responders and responded to more than 100,000 stranded marine mammals. 

“As they respond to stranded marine mammals, these trained professionals and volunteers obtain valuable information that improves our understanding of the health of marine mammals and the changing environment in which they live,” said Donna Wieting, director of the Office of Protected Resources.

For the 2020 grant cycle, NOAA Fisheries is currently accepting applications from eligible members of the Stranding Network until October 11, 2019.