UMaine to receive NOAA grant to study marine mammal strandings, media report

The Associated Press, News Center Maine and WGME (Channel 13 in Portland) reported the University of Maine will receive part of a $164,000 NOAA grant to study and respond to marine mammal strandings. This initiative comes after a summer of unusually high sightings of dead seals washed up on beaches in Maine — so far, more than 130 dead harbor seals have been recorded for August alone. According to NOAA, the average for August is 38. The cause of the die-off probably will remain unknown for a few weeks, and experts require sample collections and tests, WGME reports. Marine Mammals of Maine and College of the Atlantic also will receive NOAA funding to address the issue. The Bangor Daily News, U.S. News & World Report, WAGM (Channel 8 in Portland), the Biddeford Journal Tribune and the Reading Eagle carried the AP article.