AZA Explore Blog: Marine Mammal Rescue Assistance Grant Program Faces Uncertain Future

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The Explore blog brings you exciting, informative, and inspiring wildlife conservation features, zoo and aquarium stories, and profiles. Be sure to visit http:// to get your wild animal fix!

Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center stranding team member with beached dolphin. Copyright Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center.

In the ten years since the creation of the prestigious John H. Prescott Marine Mammal Rescue Assistance Grant Program, more than 392 grants have been awarded to 85 different recipient groups from more than 24 states and territories. Award funds have been used to: respond to stranded and entangled marine mammals; rehabilitate and release stranded animals; build the capacity of local stranding networks, including supporting new networks; investigate the causes of strandings and entanglements; and conduct research using stranding data.

In February, we learned that the proposed NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service budget for next year did not include the $4 million in annual funding for the Prescott Grant Program. Despite more than ten years of funding support, and the amazing accomplishments of the nation’s marine mammal stranding network, the Prescott Program may disappear.

The Association of Zoos and Aquariums explores this story on its Explore blog. Read more at

Founded in 1924, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, education, science, and recreation. Look for the AZA logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things. The AZA is a leader in global wildlife conservation, and your link to helping animals in their native habitats. To learn more visit


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Elise Waugh
Association of Zoos and Aquariums
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