Obama's proposed budget cuts funding for rescuing animals, like dolphins beaching on Cape Cod
In the past five weeks, 178 dolphins have beached themselves on Cape Cod. This unprecedented behavior has strained the resources of local rescue teams responding to the situation. The rescue teams working around the clock to save the struggling mammals rely heavily on government funds to support their efforts.
President Obama's recent budget proposal for 2013 would eliminate $4 million worth of funds previously allocated to rescuing marine mammals.
Conservationists are anxious about the ramifications, which would have a direct impact on an incident like the one that's going on right now on Cape Cod.
Katie Moore, manager of the International Fund for Animal Welfare, believes the proposed cuts will hurt the IFAW's ability to cope with unusual situations such as the mass dolphin stranding.
"The cut to this grant program would be a huge hit for us," Moore said. "There's just this one small parcel of money for stranding work from the federal government. We do this work fulfilling a mandate that NOAA has, and it's important that they support it."
NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is the federal agency responsible for monitoring marine animal resources. The NOAA operates the National Marine Mammal Stranding Network, a grant assistance program which delivers funds to over 100 organizations responding to local marine mammal strandings.
If approved, the President's budget proposal would cut out all funding for the National Marine Mammal Stranding Network, leaving local efforts to rely exclusively on private donations.
Moore said it would be challenging to run many of programs without government support.
"One of the tests that we're looking to run from some of the blood samples we're taken to look at potential viruses that might be affecting the animals could cost us about $18,000," Moore said. "Certainly these are things we did not originally budget for."
Video produced by the International Fund for Animal Welfare shows the animal rescue and research team rescuing stranded dolphins
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