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NOAA Fisheries Announces Increased Marine Mammal Stranding Response Capacity on Long Island, NY

Contact:
Jennifer  Goebel (NOAA)
(978) 281-9175
(978) 290-0203 (Cell)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
February 7, 2017

Over the last two months, NOAA Fisheries met with the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation, the NY Department of Environmental Conservation, law enforcement officials, U.S. Coast Guard representatives, and the Atlantic Marine Conservation Society to discuss new partnerships, as well as the reinforcement of old partnerships, to help increase and enhance marine mammal stranding response capacity on Long Island.

Capacity, resources, roles, and responsibilities have been the focus of discussions, which will be defined in a collaborative and comprehensive New York Marine Mammal Stranding Response Implementation Plan. At this time, we are pleased to announce additional capacity and resources have been identified that will greatly enhance stranding response capabilities within the State. The Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation, which has historically been the primary stranding response organization for New York, will continue to fill a vital role in marine mammal response with efforts by responding to live seals, porpoises, and dolphins in distress.

In addition, a newly formed non-profit organization, the Atlantic Marine Conservation Society, is now authorized to respond to any live large whale strandings. AMCS will also assist with collecting data from all species of dead marine mammals found on New York beaches or at sea.

Protocols have been established with NY Department of Environmental Conservation to coordinate deployment of available resources at the state level with other Northeast regional stranding network partners and support agencies. NOAA Fisheries will continue to work with emergency response programs at the federal level to incorporate large whale stranding response into existing emergency response plans that involve federal, state, local governments, and community partners.

We greatly appreciate the strong outpouring of support and resources offered during the recent humpback whale stranding in Moriches Bay.

We expect to provide further updates and changes to be implemented for marine mammal stranding response in New York in Mid-February.