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It was announced on Tuesday that two Alaska organizations were among the twelve recipients of funds for the rescue of marine mammals and for the collection of data on their health.
The funds come from the federal John H Prescott marine Mammal Rescue Assistance Grant program. That program funds academic institutions, non-profit organizations and state agencies that are members of the National Marine Mammal Stranding Network. The funds from the program are made possible by the Marine Mammel Protection Act under Title IV.
The North Slope Borough was the recipient of $85,992 for their Enhanced Stranded Marine Mammal Response in Northern Alaska. The Seward Association for the Advancement of Marine Science, better known as the Alaska Sealife Center, received $72,683 in funds for their Alaska Region Stranding Network Enhancement 2013-2015 program.
The two Alaskan organizations were part of the 12 Prescott Grant proposals funded this cycle. NOAA received 60 elegible proposals in 2013.
“The Prescott grant program helps support our stranding network partners and their life-saving rescue work to help provide humane care to whales, dolphins, seals or sea lions that are sick, injured or in peril,” said Dr. Teri Rowles, NOAA Fisheries’ lead marine mammal veterinarian and coordinator of the Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program. “Marine mammals are important indicator species of ocean health since they are top-level predators that eat many of the same fish that we do, and several species live in coastal areas utilized by people. When marine mammals show signs of illness, they may be signaling changes in the marine environment that might have significant implications for the overall health of our ocean ecosystems, so monitoring the health of marine mammals provides vital information on the impacts of, and to, humans.”
Since the Prescott program’s inception 93 organizations have received 471 grants totaling morte than $41.8 million.