Calling for support of an American legacy: Marine mammals

IFAW MMRR team members and volunteers triage nine dolphins on Cape Cod only yesterday. All were successfully released.The waters and dolphins in Cape Cod are capturing attention on a worldwide scale, but unfortunately not for a positive reason. The mass stranding of more than 100 dolphins on the coastline of the Cape is a tragedy that has rescuers from IFAW working tirelessly. 

On Friday, we will share these efforts with our leaders in Washington at a Congressional briefing.  

Katie Moore, who leads our rescue team, will brief members of Congress and their staff on the mass stranding, providing a first-hand account of the response in Cape Cod and the critical need for federal funding across stranding networks as we work to save these dolphins and determine the cause of the strandings. 

When I say critical, I mean critical.

Just like the animals we are trying to save, many of the federal funds that we are using in this effort are in danger. Our rescuers and scientists have been able to respond quickly to these events, thanks to Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Act, which, for the past 20 years, has organized the stranding networks nationwide and sets best practices for rescuers.  Included within the program is the John H. Prescott Standing Grant Program which provides necessary funding to the stranding response teams nationwide. This relatively inexpensive and highly effective grant program is on the verge of being cut from the budget by Congress—a decision that would prove detrimental to stranding networks across the country. Without this successful program, scientists would not be able to readily respond to tragic strandings like the ones on Cape Cod or study the anthropogenic and natural threats to these marine species. 

Other vital marine animal protection programs are also struggling for survival, like the Unusual Mortality Event (UME) program. Without this initiative, which helps analyze increasing mortalities within marine mammal populations, animal rescue teams would be faced with mass mortalities with no explanation. The funds for this type of program are dwindling and without support from Congress could disappear, putting not only marine animals in danger but people too. If scientists do not have the funds to determine the cause of a mass mortality event, there could be a threat to public health without anyone knowing. 

On Friday, as Katie sits in Washington, we urge Congress to remember that ever since President Nixon first signed the Marine Mammal Protection Act four decades ago, this country’s leadership has proudly supported efforts to protect the animals that swim in our waters. Now we must uphold the funding and programs that are vital to see this protection through.

--FO

Download our Marine Mammal Rescue and Response team fact sheet here.

Comments: 40

 
Anonymous
2 years ago

I seem to recall reading somewhere that the Pamet Creek in/near Wellfleet once cut clear across Cape Cod to the Atlantic, but over much time has dried up. The dophins would cut through this creek (not sure if I have exact name) to enter the Atlantic Ocean; now they cannot and end up stranding themselves on the bay side of the Cape.
Has anyone else heard this? And if it were somehow true, what could be done? It's possible there is no way to remedy these awful occurrences, as the creatures are "programmed" by their ancestors to do this.
An IFAW member...

 
Anonymous
2 years ago

I seem to recall reading somewhere that the Pamet Creek in/near Wellfleet once cut clear across Cape Cod to the Atlantic, but over much time has dried up. The dophins would cut through this creek (not sure if I have exact name) to enter the Atlantic Ocean; now they cannot and end up stranding themselves on the bay side of the Cape.
Has anyone else heard this? And if it were somehow true, what could be done? It's possible there is no way to remedy these awful occurrences, as the creatures are "programmed" by their ancestors to do this.
An IFAW member...

 
Anonymous
2 years ago

Are more volunteers needed for the rescue efforts in Cape Cod? And if so where can one sign up to help out?

 
J.C. Bouvier
2 years ago

For information on volunteer opportunities with IFAW's Marine Mammal Rescue and Research team visit this page

 
Anonymous
2 years ago

Besides donating (which I did), how can I help? I live nearby and would be happy to volunteer... please let people know what they can do, if there is anything.

 
Anonymous
2 years ago

Why are the dolphins stranding? Can we address cause? Is it Navy sonar or testing that's causing it? While it is valiant to rescue and return to ocean, and I applaud your efforts, prevention seems critical since this has occurred previously and continues to occur? If it has ocurred in the same area, it is predictable and either prevention or intervention can be planned.

 
Anonymous
2 years ago

They are the canary in the mine. As stewards, we are killing everything on this planet including ourselves for greed.

 
Anonymous
2 years ago

I support you IFAW and the efrorts to save all animals including the recent stranding of dolphins. All animals are worthy of our concern.

 
Anonymous
2 years ago

Thats what I call making a difference,thank you

 
Anonymous
2 years ago

Thank you for your continued efforts. As the humans on this planet, we need to protect
all resources, including the animals and mammals. It is our responsibility to do so.
Dianne Gleaton

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Experts

Senior Program Advisor
Senior Program Advisor
Brian Sharp, Emergency Relief Officer, Stranding Coordinator
Emergency Relief Officer, Stranding Coordinator
Dr. Ian Robinson, Vice President, Programs & Int'l Operations
Vice President, Programs & Int'l Operations
IFAW Veterinarian
Gail A'Brunzo, IFAW Wildlife Rescue Manager
Wildlife Rescue Manager, IFAW HQ
Veterinarian, DVM, PhD
Veterinarian, DVM, PhD
Katie Moore, Program Director, Animal Rescue
Program Director, Animal Rescue
Manager, Animal Rescue-Disasters
Vivek Menon, Director of IFAW partner, Wildlife Trust of India
Regional Director, South Asia