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Lifestyle: Spotlights

Atlantic Marine Conservation Society

Promoting Conservation Through Action
By NFRES Staff Writer - May 17, 2018

Atlantic Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) is a nonprofit organization with a mission of promoting conservation of the marine environment through action. Under the direction of founder and chief scientist Robert A. DiGiovanni, Jr., a nationally recognized expert in the field of marine biology, his team of specially trained staff and volunteers is the lead large whale response organization in New York State.

AMCS staff and volunteers are dedicated to identifying the causes of stranding mortalities of large whales, dolphins, seals, and sea turtles, and identifying the ways we may be able to mitigate these issues. Something the organization has learned is that the occurrence of stranded deceased marine animals is often overshadowed by live stranding events. In 2017 alone, they responded to more than 160 deceased marine animals, including an unprecedented 14 large whales. These strandings took place around Long Island from the Rockaways to Orchard Beach, and Montauk to Orient Point. Coupling this with increased sightings of humpback whales and bottlenose dolphins, it is apparent that our ecosystems are changing. To better understand how these strandings relate to wild populations, AMCS partners with other organizations to conduct health assessments and population estimates.

To accomplish their mission, AMCS conducts health assessment projects on whales, dolphins, sea turtles, and seals; performs stranding investigations through necropsies (animal autopsies) on marine animals; conducts live rescues and health assessment captures; responds to reports of stranded marine animals; performs air, sea, and land based data collection; treats distressed and injured marine animals; and conducts outreach and educational programs in the community.

In an effort to learn more about various species and why these animals wash up on our shores, AMCS conducts stranding investigations with the support of network partners. Marine Mammals of Maine, Mystic Aquarium, National Park Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries Service, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Pacific Marine Mammal Center, School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences at Stony Brook Southampton, U.S. Coast Guard, Wildlife Conservation Society, Gotham Whale, The Nature Conservancy, International Fund for Animal Welfare, New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, Riverhead Foundation, local municipalities, and so many others have been instrumental in these response efforts.

Hoping they are not alone in their mission and with the belief that conservation efforts begin with all of us, AMCS works within the community to educate people about the marine environment and its inhabitants. They have made positive strides toward a trash-free world through beach cleanups, inspiring the next generation to become stewards of the environment through lectures, and educating the community on our marine environment and its inhabitants. AMCS is also currently conducting seal cruises with the public around Shinnecock Bay.

Learn more about Atlantic Marine Conservation Society at www.amseas.org.

Conservation starts with you!

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