The current and future budget outlook for the Marine Mammal Commission, and for science-based federal agencies in general, requires us to be strategic about our work. In March 2022, we released our Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2022-2026 following a review and approval of the United States Office of Management and Budget. The Plan centers our efforts on five strategic goals, and provides a vision and clear guidance for the work we do. We also pay special attention to marine mammal species and populations considered to be most vulnerable to human activities, as well as the important role that marine mammals play in the economy.
Learn more about the work of the Commission under each priority topic below.
Marine mammal populations in the Arctic are maintained as viable functioning elements of their ecosystems through management measures that address direct and indirect effects of climate change and the ensuing economic, scientific, and other activities in the region.
Climate change impacts on marine mammal are best known in the Arctic, but have also been documented throughout US waters, including temperate and sub-tropical regions. Detecting and mitigating the threats to marine mammals from climate change will require some realignment of research and monitoring priorities, coupled with rapid and flexible management that includes both conventional and novel conservation interventions.
Understanding of human impacts on marine mammals and their ecosystems, and the management of those impacts, is improved through enhanced scientific research, policy analysis, and information dissemination.
Health and Strandings
Marine mammal strandings are more thoroughly investigated and analyzed to improve understanding of the factors causing mortality and affecting the health of marine mammals, determine the efficacy of measures such as ship speed reduction to reduce mortality, and elucidate the relationships between marine mammal health and human health and ecosystem services.
Anthropogenic threats to marine mammals, particularly those most vulnerable to extinction, are identified and reduced in the coastal and fresh waters of other nations and on the high seas worldwide, through bilateral and multilateral scientific and conservation efforts and sharing of expertise.
Scientifically robust mitigation and monitoring measures are developed, refined, and implemented in order to prevent, minimize, or mitigate the impacts of offshore oil and gas and renewable energy activities on marine mammals and their ecosystems.