The Seacoast Science Center partnered with the New England Aquarium to host the annual Greater Atlantic Regional Stranding Conference in Hull, MA. The conference was held at the Nantasket Beach Resort from October 10-13, 2017. A hundred and fifteen people attended the conference from Maine to Virginia to learn about the new techniques and tools available for the marine mammal and sea turtle rescue efforts. Scientists, researchers, and educators spoke during the science day about current research on diseases and rehabilitation techniques and projects being done along the coast to educate the public on the importance of marine mammals. The days were jammed pack with information to improve the rescue efforts and further research on the importance of these animals and the effects humans are having on the species.
Additionally, two workshops were held on Friday, October 13th to practice new techniques for large whale response and safety in the field. Guest speaker, Lindsay Grajek, an Olympic athlete, addressed the importance of diet and nutrition prior to and during intense physical activities such as large response events. Food suggestions and break schedules were given to maximize the participation of staff and volunteers and to keep everyone safe in the field. Participants were also encouraged to practice new techniques and organizational structure during the large whale drill that incorporated a mock necropsy, with sampling, media, and inclement weather.
Overall the four day conference was a successful and great event for the SSC staff to meet and network with the other stranding members and to further their skills in the field.