S.T.A.R.T (Specially Trained Animal Response Team)
In 2011, the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation received a grant through John H. Prescott Marine Mammal Rescue Assistance Grant Program to organize and lead the Specially Trained Animal Response Team (START).
By bringing trained members of the stranding response community together, START will organize these groups to assist with large-scale events affecting marine mammals and sea turtles. The effort, which began just within the northeast region, has expanded to include all of the United States. This allows multiple organizations to work together by offering the assistance of their employees to join these stranding response teams.
Approved by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the goal is to help our neighbors in other networks, and preserve and promote scientific findings. By working together, more data can be collected about the marine environment and it’s inhabitants that will prove to be valuable in the future as large-scale events occur.
Current partners include:
- International Fund for Animal Welfare
- Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium
- National Aquarium
- National Marine Mammal Foundation
- Pacific Marine Mammal Center
- Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation