NOAA/US Navy Deployment of Dolphins to Locate Vaquita Porpoises

Sarah Emerson filed this request with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the United States of America.
Tracking #




From: Sarah Emerson

To Whom It May Concern:

This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act.


Last year, the US Navy announced that it would be deploying dolphins belonging to the US Navy Marine Mammal Program to locate endangered "vaquita" porpoises near Mexico's Gulf of California. The US Navy dolphin program is based out of San Diego, and will be working in partnership with NOAA and Mexico's Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources to locate the wild vaquita, and eventually move them to an outdoor sea-pen.

### REQUEST ###

I hereby request the following records:

Please provide all records generated in connection with the deployment of US Navy dolphins to locate endangered vaquita porpoises near the Gulf of California.

For this request, the term “all records” refers to, but is not limited to, any and all documents, correspondence (including, but not limited to, inter and/or intra-agency correspondence as well as correspondence with entities or individuals outside the federal government), emails, letters, notes, telephone records, telephone notes, minutes, memoranda, comments, files, presentations, consultations, biological opinions, assessments, evaluations, schedules, telephone logs, papers published and/or unpublished, reports, studies, photographs and other images, data (including raw data, GPS or GIS data, UTM, LiDAR, etc.), maps, and/or all other responsive records, in draft or final form.

This request is not meant to exclude any other records that, although not specially requested, are reasonably related to the subject matter of this request. If you or your office have destroyed or determine to withhold any records that could be reasonably construed to be responsive to this request, I ask that you indicate this fact and the reasons therefore in your response.

Under the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016, agencies are prohibited from denying requests for information under FOIA unless the agency reasonably believes release of the information will harm an interest that is protected by the exemption. FOIA Improvement Act of 2016 (Public Law No. 114-185), codified at 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(8)(A).

I am requesting a fee waiver in the "media" fee category. In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request, and I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

In order to help to determine my status to assess fees, you should know that I am a journalist writing for Motherboard, VICE's technology and science site, and that this request is being made as part of news gathering (

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes. They will be used in the course of my reporting for Motherboard ( The disclosure of these documents is likely to contribute to an understanding of government operations or activities, and I have a demonstrated the ability to disseminate the requested information broadly.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 20 business days, as the statute requires.


Sarah Emerson

From: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Good afternoon Ms. Emerson,

Thank you for inquiring about the status of the subject FOIA request. We
apologize for the delay in processing. The request was assigned to an
office that did not have responsive records and currently has been
reassigned to NMFS Protected Resources office for processing and
fulfillment. The search for responsive records is underway.

I will actively check with the lead office for status updates and
periodically provide you with any feedback shared with me.

Please let me know if you have additional questions.

Lola Stith

From: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Good evening Ms. Emerson - The lead office and SMEs have completed one of
several record searches and compiled a large volume of records for review
by the SME and general counsel to prepare a authorize release. Additional
record searches are also currently underway.

We sincerely apologize for the delay and appreciate your patience and

Our goal is to get an interim release to you as soon as possible.

Lola S

From: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Good afternoon Ms. Emerson - Your request was closed on August 2, 2019.
429 records were released in response to this request. You can find them
by accessing FOIAonline using the tracking number DOC-NOAA-2018-000318.

Thank you.



There are no files associated with this request.