The Society received the following response to its Presidential Letter regarding the Don Sahong Dam and the future of river dolphins, including the critically endangered Mekong population of Irrawaddy dolphins from David B. Shear, U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam on June 4, 2014:
Dear Ms. Marsh:
Thank you for your letter dated May 14, 2014. In response to your letter, I wanted to assure you that the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi and the United States Government as a whole are focused on the conservation of marine mammals in Southeast Asia, and particularly the freshwater dolphins of the Mekong River.
With our colleagues throughout the United States Government, we have engaged in policy advocacy and technical capacity building to encourage the coutnries of the Mekong to consider the potential ecological impacts of hydropower adn other water infrastructure projects in the Mekong Basin.
The efforts of your organization play a critical role in our policy goals to protect these animals, and I want to take this opportunity to thank you and The Socity for Marine Mammalogy for your hard work on this issue. We look forward to workign with you on our shared goal in the future!
David B. Shear