By Eiland                                            H.C.R. No. 177
         77R6347 MMS-D                           
                             HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION
 1-1           WHEREAS, Each year during the months of February, March, and
 1-2     April the Texas Gulf Coast experiences the "stranding season," the
 1-3     time when the majority of dolphin and whale strandings occur, and
 1-4     the Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network is campaigning to raise
 1-5     public awareness about the season and what to do if a stranded
 1-6     mammal is discovered; and
 1-7           WHEREAS, Founded in 1980, the network is a nonprofit,
 1-8     volunteer organization dedicated to the understanding and
 1-9     conservation of marine mammals; it is the only agency licensed
1-10     under the federal Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 to handle
1-11     stranded marine mammals, whether dead or alive, on the Texas coast;
1-12     and
1-13           WHEREAS, In the Galveston area alone, the network recovers
1-14     from 10 to 20 animals a week during the stranding season; when
1-15     animals are recovered alive, the network provides rescue and
1-16     rehabilitation, including medical treatment and 24-hour-a-day
1-17     observation; in every case, the stranded animal provides valuable
1-18     information, both biological and environmental; and
1-19           WHEREAS, More than 90 percent of the mammals recovered by the
1-20     network are bottlenose dolphins; because these dolphins eat the
1-21     same fish that humans do, they serve as an indicator of the
1-22     condition of the marine environment; recent research on stranded
1-23     mammals has indicated an increased incidence of heavy metals,
1-24     mercury, and other pollutants, which can contribute to cancer,
 2-1     infectious arthritis, lung disease, and other ailments; and
 2-2           WHEREAS, The network encourages the public to be aware of the
 2-3     stranding season and to call it at 1-800-9MAMMAL whenever a
 2-4     stranded mammal is discovered; network volunteers stationed along
 2-5     the Texas Gulf Coast will respond immediately; if the animal is
 2-6     found alive, it is important to keep the animal wet while waiting
 2-7     for the volunteers; and
 2-8           WHEREAS, The stranding season and its implications are of
 2-9     critical importance to the citizens of Texas, and the public can
2-10     render significant service by reporting every stranded mammal to
2-11     the Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network; now, therefore, be it
2-12           RESOLVED, That the 77th Legislature of the State of Texas
2-13     hereby designate March 2001 as Dolphin Awareness Month and commend
2-14     the admirable rescue, research, and educational work of the Texas
2-15     Marine Mammal Stranding Network.