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$4 Million Awarded for Marine Mammal Rescue Efforts through Prescott Marine Mammal Rescue Assistance Grants

September 14, 2023

Prescott Marine Mammal Rescue Assistance Grants will provide important federal funding to our marine mammal health and emergency response partners in 20 states and one tribe for fiscal year 2023.

Humpback whale carcass lying on beach with heavy machinery nearby to tow Necropsy of a dead humpback whale that was reported at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. The whale drifted near the Bay Bridge Tunnel, and the local stranding network pulled it up on land by using heavy equipment to conduct a necropsy near Lynnhaven Beach, Virginia.

NOAA Fisheries awarded 50 grants totaling more than $4 million through the John H. Prescott Marine Mammal Rescue and Assistance Grant Program to our partners in 20 states and one tribe. Recipients are from the Marine Mammal Stranding and Entanglement Response Networks, including collaborators specializing in marine mammal health. These grants support a core mission of NOAA Fisheries: the conservation and recovery of protected marine species. This competitive funding improves marine mammal stranding response and investigation capabilities nationwide, and supports the goals of Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program.

This year’s awarded grants support Stranding Network partner activities that include:

  • Recovery and treatment of stranded marine mammals
  • Marine mammal entanglement response
  • Data collection from live and dead stranded and/or entangled marine mammals for scientific research regarding marine mammal health
  • Collaborative services that help Stranding Network organizations collect data and analyze samples
  • Facility upgrades, operation costs, and staffing needs directly related to the recovery and treatment of stranded marine mammals and the collection of data from living or dead stranded marine mammals.

Since the Prescott Grant Program was established in 2000, NOAA Fisheries has awarded more than $75.2 million to partners. Our grant recipient partners have leveraged an additional $31.3 million. Together we have built a strong network of more than 120 trained and professional response organizations, and responded to more than 100,000 stranded marine mammals. Additional awards have funded marine mammal entanglement response and investigations into marine mammal health including diagnostics and scientific research.

“The Marine Mammal Stranding and Entanglement Response Networks are instrumental in documenting threats faced by marine mammals in their environment—data that we can use to help inform management and actions to conserve and recover the species,” said Kim Damon-Randall, Director of the NOAA Fisheries Office of Protected Resources.

NOAA Fisheries is accepting applications from eligible members of the marine mammal health community (Stranding Network, Entanglement Response Network, and authorized collaborators) for the 2024 grants cycle through October 19, 2023.

Last updated by Office of Protected Resources on September 19, 2023