Congresswoman Chellie Pingree

Representing the 1st District of Maine

Maine Receives Federal Funding to Study, Respond to Marine Mammal Deaths and Strandings

Aug 16, 2018
Press Release

Portland, Maine—Congresswoman Chellie Pingree announced today that organizations in Maine would receive $164,000 in federal grants to study and respond to marine mammal strandings. The funding for Marine Mammals of Maine, College of the Atlantic, and University of Maine comes amid a wave of unexplained seal deaths and strandings over the past few weeks.

“With so many seals ending up on Maine beaches this summer, this funding couldn’t come at a more critical time,” Pingree said. “I’m grateful for the organizations and volunteers who have been non-stop this summer in recovering and rehabilitating these animals when possible, and trying to find an explanation for these alarming deaths. These grants will help them continue that important work into the coming year.”  

So far in August, 84 seals have been found dead or stranded on Southern Maine beaches, while over the last 10 years the average for the entire month has been 38. 

Funding comes from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Prescott Grant Program, which provides funding to stranding network participants for the recovery and treatment of stranded marine mammals, and data collection from living or dead stranded marine mammals.  

Pingree worked on the House Appropriations Committee to restore funding after it had been eliminated in the Trump Administration’s budget proposal. 

Grant Summaries Provided by NOAA 

Marine Mammals of Maine: $49,669
Increasing Capacity to Understand Marine Mammal Health through Stranding Response, Triage, and Necropsy in Mid-coast and Southern Maine

College of the Atlantic: $49,996
Maintenance and Enhancement of the Marine Mammal Stranding Response Program (MMSRP) for the Mid-coast/Downeast region of Maine, 2017-2018

University of Maine: $64,396
Retrospective analysis of marine mammal strandings in a region of socio-ecological and environmental change