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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Protection & Welfare, Animals, Biological & Life Sciences, Marine Science & Oceanography, Technology

Mission:

The Marine Mammal Center is a nonprofit veterinary hospital, research and educational center dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of ill and injured marine mammals, primarily elephant seals, harbor seals, and California sea lions. Its research team studies the causes of illness in these animals, and by doing so, learns about conditions affecting the health of marine mammal populations and the oceans – discovering conditions that can affect humans as well. In addition, the Center’s education programs teach thousands of students and the visiting public each year about marine mammals and the urgent need for environmental stewardship of earth’s marine environments.

Results: We've rescued over 19,000 marine mammals since 1975 and have opened a hospital in HI to save the highly endangered monk seal.

Target demographics: injured, orphaned or sick marine mammals.

Direct beneficiaries per year: over 500 marine mammals and educated thousands of school children.

Geographic areas served: 600 miles of CA coastline, and educate and research worldwide

Programs: Each year The Marine Mammal Center rescues hundreds of ill, injured, and orphaned marine mammals along the California coast from San Luis Obispo to Mendocino, and now also in Hawaii. Once at our hospitals, vet staff diagnose and treat infectious diseases, starvation, and injuries, including gunshot wounds, ocean trash entanglements, and shark bites. Advanced rehabilitation and husbandry practices and over 1,000 volunteers allow many of these animals to return to their ocean home. Veterinary scientists at the Center work collaboratively with many organizations, bringing together veterinary clinicians and pathologists, rehabilitation specialists, wildlife biologists, and other scientists to address the health and survival of marine mammals and investigate human and other stresses on the marine ecosystem. Many patients also show high levels of PCBs and DDT in their blubber, indicating a possible connection between marine mammal disease and environmental toxins.

Community Stories

128 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Donor

Rating: 5

Visited the center in July 2016. Staff was friendly and professional. Amazing volunteers were dedicated and very knowledgeable! Thank you for all you do to help these animals.

Volunteer

Rating: 2

I really loved volunteering at the Marine Mammal Center. They recently had several staff and policy changes that do not reflect their mission.

It's really a shame.

Comments ( 1 )

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TMMC Membership 09/22/2016

Thank you for volunteering with The Marine Mammal Center. Because of people like you, we’re able to give thousands of sick and injured marine mammals a second chance at life. We regret that you feel recent staff or policy changes do not reflect our mission. We have always strived to create a safe, respectful and fun place to volunteer, but we’re always looking for ways to improve. If you have any concerns or questions, please email us at volunteer@tmmc.org and we will respond. Thank you.

1 romantic

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I visited The Marine Mammal Center a year and a half ago. The volunteers were so knowledgeable and friendly with a true passion for the animals. It was inspiring and made me sign up to volunteer too!

The research they do and the information they provide to the public through Marine Mammal Sundays and other outreach programs is truly remarkable.

I am involved in animal care and rescue/response. Being able to help care for injured and ill seals and sea lions is an amazing experience. The best part of all is being a part of helping them go back to their ocean home.

Volunteering at The Marine Mammal Center has been a life changing decision. I'm so proud to be a part of this organization.

Comments ( 1 )

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TMMC Membership 10/18/2016

Thank you for sharing your story about how you got started volunteering at The Marine Mammal Center. We appreciate your commitment to helping the hundreds of marine mammals who wash up on our shores and so desperately need a second chance at life. As a small token of our gratitude, we made a small video using some of your words. You can view it here: https://www.facebook.com/themarinemammalcenter/ Thank you for all that you do!

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I truly believe that the work this organization is doing is an integral and important part of the campaign to save critically endangered marine species. Without their support of Ke Kai Ola (The Monk Seal Hospital), and their tireless efforts on behalf of other at risk marine mammals, we could very well see the extinction of some species within out lifetimes.

In recent months, I have spent hundreds of hours perusing YouTube videos, print articles and scholarly works on the the topic of marine mammal conservation, and from what I have seen, I certainly feel that the staff and volunteers of the Marine Mammal Center (and Ke Kai Ola) are among the best in the field today. As conservators of our ocean resources, they deserve our deepest respect and highest regards for their tireless efforts, dedication and sacrifice. From what I have seen of this organization's work to date, at all levels of management, staff and volunteers their professionalism is exemplary, their compassion endless, and their enthusiasm and drive is inexhaustible.

As donors go, I consider myself to be a very, very small fish in a much larger pool. If I lived in California, I would give my time and talents. As it is, I left my native state long ago and live in a land-locked area with nary an ocean in site. Even at this remove, however, I care deeply about our beaches, oceans and coastline resources (and the animals that live there) and so what limited resources I have I willingly give to The Marine Center because I know that they will use my money wisely and well.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been fortunate enough to give back and while I thought I was doing good this opportunity has left me feeling like I'm not the one who gave. 5 stars

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a member of the Marine Mammal Center for 25 years. I was inspired by their mission to rescue, rehabilitate and release sick or injured marine mammals. But, it was only as a volunteer for the past five years that I was able to really see what they do. I work in the Harbor Seal hospital, where we care for newborn, orphaned harbor seal pups. They are helpless, unweaned pups who still have their umbilical cords when we rescue them. We tube feed them, teach them how to eat fish and keep them at our facility until they are able to survive on their own. Being able to do this work is such a great honor. The reward of all of this hard work is to see the animals being released, rushing back into the ocean where they belong and knowing that we have given them the care that they need to survive there. It's a good feeling.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer at TMMC since 2011. The opportunities for volunteers to work closely with wild Pinnipeds is unmatched. I would suggest joining an animal care crew during the slow part of the year, July-November, when the pace of training is more relaxed. This is, by far, the most interesting and challenging volunteer job I have ever experienced.

2 Erica M.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

These guys do great work. Not only rehabilitation, but also with education and research. If you're in the area is free to visit and they have an optional area where you can see them doing necropsy (animal autopsies) to find out why they did and collect samples for research. Just know that their work is seasonal and there is more to see in the spring and early summer than in the fall and winter.

Previous Stories
2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've helped care for rescued seals and sea lions at Marine Mammal Center for about 8 months now including 3 months spend there on a Veterinary Technician internship. They are wonderful people to work with and do amazing things for the animals under their care. In all aspects they take their responsibility very seriously and go above and beyond by partnering with many scientists to help them with their research whether that research is aimed at learning more about our marine mammal cousins or to trying to figure out or cure human conditions or diseases. They do a great job of educating the public as well and are very open about what goes on there. I highly encourage their support. Also, visiting is free, so stop on by and see what they are doing in person!

3 Bex B.

Donor

Rating: 5

Thanks for all your fabulous work! We are delighted to support you!

3 Julie240

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Proud to be a part of an amazing organization and group of volunteers!