NEW YORK (FOX 5 NEWS) - The public outcry after a humpback whale was stranded on a sandbar in Moriches Bay off Long Island in November 2016 before she was euthanized has prompted the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to revise the way it handles similar situations.
Communication was a big issue for many residents like Alex Lampasona who showed up at a community meeting on the changes. He stood along the shore watching for days.
NOAA says timing was tricky. It happened before Thanksgiving and it was difficult to find the right vet to assess the situation. NOAA is now working with other local agencies to store some of their materials on Long Island. NOAA officials will also be reaching out to community volunteers to assist in the future. The Town of Brookhaven is also unhappy with the response and says more needs to be done.
The Riverhead Foundation is supportive of the program. Experts do stress that it is uncommon for whales to strand. If they're healthy they should be able to free themselves within a few tide cycles.