Gulf of Maine Council Visionary Awards are presented to individuals or organizations within each of
the five Gulf of Maine jurisdictions of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, New Brunswick, and
Nova Scotia. These Awards recognize innovation, creativity, and commitment to promoting a healthy
Gulf of Maine.
Lynda Ada Doughty is being recognized with a Visionary Award for her longstanding contributions to
marine mammal response and rescue and her vision and leadership as Executive Director of Marine
Mammals of Maine. Marine Mammals of Maine was created by Lynda as a triage center for critically ill
and injured seals. This emergency care center for marine mammals was created to fill a need when
Maine’s Department of Marine Resources could no longer provide the service. In the spring of 2016, the
center received federal authorization to temporarily care for seals, making it the first and only marine
mammal triage facility on the East coast.
Most marine mammals brought to the center require a minimum of three months of intensive care, and
the majority are not stable enough to be immediately transported off of Maine’s beaches. Marine
Mammals of Maine’s triage center can stabilize them first, for up to 96 hours, before transporting them
to the closest facilities located 200 to 250 miles away. Not only does this facility provide needed care for
animals, but it also serves as a platform for collecting valuable data. The triage center’s data collection
and research program sheds light on greater marine mammal populations. As an important indicator
species, seals that strand on Maine’s beaches carry invaluable information about environmental
stressors that could impact people, food sources, and industries.
Thanks to Lynda’s personal commitment and professional guidance, Marine Mammals of Maine has
become a vibrant and effective non-profit organization providing crucial marine mammal and sea turtle
response, rescue, research and education along the coast of Maine. By providing marine mammal
response care for thousands of animals over the years, Lynda has made a tremendous contribution to
protecting marine life in the Gulf of Maine watershed.