Project Page

Reducing Impacts to Cetaceans during Disasters by Improving Response Activities

Implementing Organization

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration


DWH Project Funding


Known Leveraged Funding


Funding Organization

Natural Resource Damage Assessment Trustees (NRDA)

Funding Program

Natural Resource Damage Assessment NRDA


Project Category


Project Actions

Species Restoration

Targeted Resources

Marine Mammals

Project Description

This project improves and enhances whale and dolphin response activities in the Gulf of Mexico to address a variety of potential disasters. In the years since the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, NOAA has developed guidelines for marine mammal oil spill responses. However, many of these efforts have been general and not specific to situations or regional needs. There is a need for new tools and techniques to enhance our ability to respond to marine mammal disasters in the Gulf of Mexico. An effective, rapid response can have positive benefits to individual animals and populations. To address this need, this project supports the refinement and development of marine mammal response plans for a variety of potential disasters. The focus is to improve and enhance response and assessment activities for marine mammals threatened by disasters in the Gulf of Mexico. Disasters include natural, human-caused, and whale and dolphin stranding events. Participation by the Gulf stakeholders is included in disaster response planning and implementation. Potential partners include the Southeast Marine Mammal Stranding Network, academic institutions, state agencies and other organizations involved in conducting response and related research activities. Other programs such as the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund are continuing to fund related studies and stranding network capabilities, and it is anticipated that this project will collaborate with those programs by sharing data and leveraging and engaging similar activities. The project began with the establishment of a working group to review existing response on "More Info" link below


Stephen Heverly
(301) 427-8626
Project Website
Project Partners


Affiliated Institutions

For official trustee information regarding the Deepwater Horizon NRDA, including information regarding the NRDA process and the status of projects, see

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