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Shelley Dawicki
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May 7, 2010
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Woods Hole MA 02543

New York  Foundation Honored for Marine Mammal Rescue and Care

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Riverhead team at stranding
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The response team from the Riverhead Foundation tends to a stranded whale. (Credit: Mendy Garron, NOAA Fisheries Service)
Related Links
Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Stranding Network
Northeast Region Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Standing and Disentanglement Program
The Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation
The Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation (RFMRP) on Long Island has been honored by NOAA Fisheries Service’s Northeast Region Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Stranding Network with its Award of Excellence for work with stranded humpback whales.

The RFMR responds to hundreds of stranded, injured and entangled marine mammals and sea turtles along the New York coast every year. 

The group Award of Excellence was presented to the Riverhead Foundation at the annual Northeast Region Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Stranding Network conference May 6-9 in Bar Harbor, Maine.  An individual award was also presented to Wendy Walton of the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center for her lifetime achievements in marine mammal rescue and animal care, especially of seals and other pinniped species.

“The recent event of a live humpback whale stranding in the surf on Long Island proved to be a very difficult situation for all responders involved, but RFMRP staff provided an excellent response and dedicated effort toward the event,” said Lanni Hall, NOAA Fisheries Service’s Northeast Region Assistant Stranding Coordinator. “NOAA Fisheries Service extends its appreciation for the dedicated response effort and RFMRP’s continued participation and leadership in the Northeast Region Stranding Network.”

The Northeast Regional Marine Mammal Stranding Program of NOAA Fisheries Service annually presents two Awards of Excellence in memory of David St. Aubin, a long-standing researcher whose work benefited the Marine Mammal Stranding Network through scientific excellence.

St. Aubin grew up in Hudson, Ontario and attended the University of Guelph, where he earned master and Ph.D. degrees. He began his research career at the Arctic Biological Station of Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans studying phytoplankton, but his interests soon moved to seals and whales. He spent 30 summers in the Arctic doing research on beluga whales, narwhals and sea lions and made significant contributions to understanding what keeps marine mammals healthy. St. Aubin was director of research and veterinary services at Connecticut’s Mystic Aquarium at the time of his death in 2002.

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