As a child, I grew up in Southern California and remember well my visits to the beaches in the area as well as our school field-trips to (what was then) the Scripps Institute of Oceanography. On the weekends, my best friend and I would spend hours at a time combing the strand for fishing net floats (a very popular decorating item back then!) and picking up interesting sea shells to string into bracelets and necklaces. Because I was born with deformed legs, I often wore heavy shoes and cumbersome braces, and wasn't allowed to swim with the other kids like I wanted to. To help me pass the time, Melissa and I would sit and watch the seals, sea lions and other sea creatures play in the water. After a few years, I outgrew the need for braces...but I never outgrew my love of the ocean.
My life has now returned full circles and due to the advance of a progressive degenerative disease I must once again rely on appliances of various types to help me navigate the world about me. Although I live far from the sea of my youth, I still remember the important lesson I learned from watching the seals at the beach; even though something may appear ungainly and clumsy in one situation, (much like the seals are on the beach), if you put that same creature in a different environment (like the seals in the ocean) then they prove themselves to be beautiful, elegant and powerful creatures.
This lessons I learned from the seals about adapting to one's environment has served me well over the years; and on Giving Tuesday I gave to groups like the Marine Mammal Center, Seal rescue Ireland and the Marine Mammal Stranding Center because I believe that their work helps foster a greater opportunity for children and adults to learn the valuable life lessons that respectful interaction, stewardship and study of our fellow denizens on this planet can impart. Without the work of these three groups (and dozens more like them all over the word) in the coming years we could very well lose the company some of the most charming, charismatic and eloquent ambassadors of the sea there are. Our marine mammal neighbors are priceless; and I give what I can to help their conservators because I believe the lessons we can learn from them are even more so.
Review from #MyGivingStory
Advancing global ocean conservation is more important than ever. And the Marine Mammal Center is literally on the front lines. Having rescued and rehabilitated marine mammals for over 40 years, the center has a wealth of information they share with government and conservation partners. Indeed, their work offers many of us a window into ocean health. After all, sea lions are sentinels of the sea. As world leaders begin to grapple with things like acidification, sea level rise and hypoxia, I hope they rely more on experts like those at the marine mammal center.
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.
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.
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 email@example.com and we will respond. Thank you.
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.
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!
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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!
Thanks for all your fabulous work! We are delighted to support you!
Proud to be a part of an amazing organization and group of volunteers!
I have visited and supported the marine mammal center since I was a young girl - over three decades! It's been wonderful to see the facility grow and it's one of the most amazing nonprofits that I've been associated with. Their work is exceptional! I wish that I lived closer so that I could volunteer!
I see Marine mammal center volunteers all the time on the beach directly helping sick and injured seals and sea lions here in Monterey and Pacific Grove. It's all direct hands on work. Love watching their animal release videos.
The Marine Mammal Center is an amazing organization! I can see everyone's passion for these animals and I am truly amazed each week. It's my favorite place in the world!
The work done by the Marine Mammal Center forms the foundation of our environmental movement, as our oceans are both indicative of and supportive of the health of our planet.
My daughter did an internship here and then has volunteered for the last 2 years. We had a tour last spring and were amazed at the number of mammals treated at this wonderful facility. So many dedicated volunteers and staff work together to make a difference in these hard times for marine mammals!
The Marine Mammal Center is an exemplary nonprofit, but words do not cover the amount of care they were able to provide over the past year. The amount of stranded sea lions that washed up on beaches along the Pacific coast is staggering, and the work that the MMC accomplished is nothing short of astonishing. Though they were short on manpower and resources, nothing stopped them from making a profound difference during a true crisis. Their work is remarkable and the educational opportunities they provide help raise awareness all across California.
I've been a long-time supporter of the Marine Mammal Center and I've had the pleasure of visiting it once. The good work they do on behalf of CA Bay Area marine mammals is amazing and their voice is much needed on behalf of these wonderful creatures. I highly recommend them as a charitable cause if you love marine mammals like I do.
Truly an amazing group of people dedicated to helping the animals in their care and educating the public.
Having volunteered there for four years and been an intern, TMMC is a great place that does lots of research to help marine mammals and rehabilitates hundreds of patients per year. They have a huge focus on education too, so is good for school groups or families to visit.
My wife and I have been members for five years now she is fulfilling her dream as a volunteer! I am amazed at the great work you all do!
I have had the pleasure of visiting this center on my last two trips to the area. My kids and I love it. They do such amazing work for all the sick and injured marine mammals in the area.
A dedicated organization with skilled volunteers who protect, heal, rehabilitate seals and sea lions. I have worked for them and have witnessed the dedication to help those sick animals go back into the wild. A great center and team.
The Marine Mammal Center treats emaciated and ill marine mammals from the West coast. As a volunteer I've watched as seals and sea lions have come to the center dangerously ill and been released a few months after.
One of our patients really caught my eye. Thin Mint was a female sea lion that had fishing line caught around her head when she came into the center. She remained at the center for several months as she recovered from her injuries but was very aggressive when ever she observed the approach of anything alien to her pen. It was tragic to see how much harm, more mental than physical that had been inflicted upon the creature.
It is through the help of the MMC and it's volunteers that thousands of marine mammals are given a second chance by the humans whos trash and byproducts had hurt them.
As a volunteer of two years, I've worked with hundreds of seals and seal lions at The Marine Mammal Center. This hospital rescues, rehabilitates, and releases so many animals which would normally die without our help. TMMC runs primarily on volunteer support, and it's truly incredible how hard everyone works as a group to help sick and injured marine mammals.
If you ever get the chance to visit TMMC, you'll see of thousands of people working on preparing meals, cleaning pens, and administering medication. It's a powerful image, and a powerful organization.
They work so hard at conservation and do a great job of keeping the public informed.
This site shows many very important events and conditions taking place in our seas. It is very important to spread the word on this situation. Awareness is the first step in fixing this. Plus the animals they show are adorable!
At a time when environmental catastrophe seems to dominate headlines, there are heroes working to save injured and ill marine mammals.
Marine Mammal Center is a state-of-the-art facility, with an "army" of staff and volunteers, whose hearts are dedicated to saving these animals.
For the thousands of school kids who come out to visit...the families....individuals looking to learn about the animals and the issues, there is no greater educational opportunity than touring this center.
The marine mammal center is the most amazing organization! This organization as a whole and all of its members have the biggest heart I have ever experienced. They are so incredibly hard working and giving. They put everything they have into making a difference for the animals they rescue and care for. They also do so much to show their graditude to the volunteers and staff that make the organization possible. I love everything about the marine mammal center, their work and everything they stand for! I am so incredibly blessed to be a part of such an amazing organization!
I am a volunteer at The Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, California. Nearly 3 years ago, my, then 15 year old, daughter became a youth volunteer and almost immediately recruited me to come help out in the fish kitchen. In Sausalito, at our headquarters, in addition to education and research, we are a rescue, rehabilitate and release program for sea lions, elephant seals, fur seals and harbor seals. During our peak season, around the clock, we feed and care for as many as 200 animals at a time, so that requires an enormous amount of work by greater than 1000 volunteers. My daughter and I are on Friday Day Crew. We think our crew is the best, but everyone thinks THEIR crew is the best! We have an incredibly dedicated vet staff and through the volunteer work I have done recently with the administration staff, I have learned that the fundraising that makes all this possible requires quite the devotion as well. We are a mostly volunteer organization, but even many of our staff members are volunteers in their free time. It is an amazing place. We always leave exhausted, but we know we have helped the animals, and in turn the ocean, and therefore our planet. We love The Marine Mammal Center!
I've been a volunteer with The Marine Mammal Center for more than 5 years now, working on the Friday Night Animal Care Crew. I'm also a staff person, managing the website and email communications with our supporters. The work accomplished by this organization is critical to the health of the 6 different pinniped species found along the coast of California, as well as to education about issues surrounding ocean health.
The Marine Mammal Center is a fantastic organization helping to protect our coastal resources and research threats to the marine ecosystem. Plus it's a great place to visit to see all their rehabbing patients!
I have been incredibly lucky to volunteer with harbor seals for the past 3 years. I can say with utmost confidence that TMMC cares about the Bay Area community and, most importantly, their patients. The Bay Area is a better place because The Marine Mammal Center is here.
They treat both their volunteers and their patients with the greatest respect and grace. Over 1100 volunteers, they must be doing something right. Other organizations could learn from these folks.