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 protected] 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.
The MMC is an awesome nonprofit and I am privileged to have been volunteering there for almost 4yrs now. Started with my daughter as she was going into marine biology in college. We enjoyed spending our Saturday nights together. After she left for college I continued. Volunteering there gives a sense of accomplishment and pride. Long hours...You Bet....with shift starting at 6pm...there were times I didn't leave until 6am. That's because I sat with the Harbor Seal Patients who were recvg iv fluids and on the brink. But we made it through. Weather conditions...we grin and bear it. Lots of coffee and clothing layers. But its peaceful. When your sitting with the Harbors in the ICU....its quiet. You calm them and allow them to recuperate. They make their noises and watch you with their big eyes. But all the while lettg them remain wild and non habituated to eventually return home. TMMC is an organization with volunteer heart. One big happy family. Through happiness and sorrow we get it done.
As both a donor and a 13-year veteran staff member, I can attest to the fantastic work The Marine Mammal Center performs on a daily basis. It is so amazing to work for an organization that is focused on making the world a better place, one marine mammal at a time. Each day I look forward to hearing the latest on current patients or learning about urgent calls from the public concerning an entangled animal seen swimming off a beach, or what the education team is hearing from school children who often have never even been to a beach.
The Center has just completed a new hospital in Hawaii to save an entire species - the Hawaiian monk seal is the most endangered pinniped in the US, and there are fewer than 1,100 remaining.
Perhaps the most amazing thing about the Center is the 1,000+ dedicated volunteers: truly the heart of this place! So if you want to give to an organization that has a track record (18,500+ rescues!) of innovation and success, give to The Marine Mammal Center!
The marine mammal center does amazing work for seals and sea lions that have been hurt or need rehabilitation. They have many success stories of patients that have gone in to the center with little chance to live, but have been rehabilitated through their hard work and have returned to their ocean home. Truly a great place that does excellent work for the world and the oceans.
I love The Marine Mammal Center. They provide rescue, rehabilitation, and education. Saving marine mammals is a work of love. Each and every person who works at TMMC is dedicated and enthusiastic.
The Marine Mammal Center helps so many! In addition to all their great work in CA, They have expanded to HI recently to help the very endangered monk seals. They provide opportunities for kids, teens and adults to volunteer as well as internships for teens to learn veterinary care. There are many educational programs at the Marine Mammal Center for the public to learn about keeping oceans clean and helping and interacting with marine animals. Money is raised not only ny donation, but also in creative ways through their store and classes.
Should not saving the world's oceans and marine life be one of humanities top priorities? These creatures have never violated or harmed or taken advantage of me. The least I can to is returned the favor in whatever way I can. We all possess the deepest most effective healing device in the universe, Love, compassion, caring and protecting other all living beings and our world's oceans.
Thank you Marine Mammal Center and great good karma to all,
The work done on behalf of marine animals at the Marine Mammal Center is without equal. These animals, often in huge numbers, more often than not the victims of human cruelty or human greed, have essentially nowhere else to turn. Injured, sick, blind, abandoned, no matter. The MMC is there for them. A combination of incredible facilities, amazing science, dedicated staff and volumes of tireless volunteers, the MMC is one of precious things in our world that makes you feel good to be human.
I live on the coast and spend a lot of time at the beach. Whenever I see something that concerns me...a sealion behaving oddly, one time a beached/dead porpoise, I call the Marine Mammal Center and they always address my concerns. When I found the porpoise, they came immediately to my aid (I stayed) until they got there because I was not entirely sure if it was dead. They also took the corpse from the beach and explained how it would help them understand beachings better. They are amazing!
I have volunteered for six Harbor Seal pup seasons during Saturday Day Crew. The Marine Mammal Center is a wonderful place. It is a beautiful and modern facility dedicated to rescue, rehabilitate and release of several kinds of sea mammals. All of the people I have met at this facility truly care for the patients. The environment is clean, save, comfortable and protected for the health and care of the animals. I feel privileged to get to volunteer here.
I read the updates from this Centre daily and am always impressed by the genuine care and attention they provide to marine wildlife. The oceans are a part of our lives as humans also. Keep up the great work ! :)
The Marine Mammal Center is world-renowned for their expertise in animal care, veterinary medicine, and science. The committed volunteers that care for the animals, as well as the programs they have in place to train and expand the field of knowledge, make this place a gem in the non-profit world.
I unfortunately reside out of state in Phoenix, AZ ; however I receive countless updates of the Center and I am truly amazed by the rehabilitation these animals receive. How they arrive is unfortunate but how they are rescued is nothing short of amazing . They are given a second chance at life with this Center and I hope to visit one day very soon . My heart goes out to all who work and volunteer here . I am a Volunteer of Wildlife Zoo and Aquarium and I know the work that goes into education and the care of all living creatures.
These volunteers are doing noble work with their rescue, rehab, and release of marine wildlife. Our Oceans need more people like these, people who give back rather than take away via action and education. They're untold s/heroes!
They do so much for the marine wildlife. Not just anyone can do what they do, they are special group of hard working, dedicated conservationist. They are amazing!!!!!!!
I've been volunteering with this amazing crew since January. The compassion and cooperation of all people involved is unrivaled. It really is all about the animals.
The MMC is not only doing good in the world of conservation, they are deeply involved with educating the public about what they do, why they do it, and what we, the visitors, can to to be involved! Not only do they do good in this way, but they are free to visit-a rare circumstance in these days' non-profits. This is a huge benefit to the community, especially those living in poverty who may not otherwise have the chance to experience and learn from an institution like this. Good job MMC!
The Marine Mammal Center rescues,rehabilitates contributes to research and releases marine mammals that have at one time been in distress and whose chances of survival would be greatly impacted if it wasn't for the dedicated volunteers.
We have all been working very hard this year rescuing pups that have been abandoned by their mothers and coming in to the centers malnourished and now with the algae bloom along the CA coast that is effecting Sea Lions causing a build up of neurotoxins in their system. The build up can cause seizures.
We have rescued more animals since January than we did all of last year!
Great organization helping marine life. Keeps the public informed and recommends
Things everyone can do to help on any level.
Almost 20 years ago I and several others were attending an international conference in Monterey and were able to participate in the rescue of a baby seal. It was one of the most exciting and rewarding things I'd ever done. One conference attendees was from China and I don't think had ever seen a seal before. The volunteers were nice enough to name the seal after him which really made his day. I was impressed that day and am still impressed at the expertise and caring and the accomplishments of the Marine Mammal Center. Not only did we get to help save a life, we gained some knowledge and the Marine Mammal Center gained a donor for life.
Volunteering at the San Luis Obispo Operations is always fun. We've been extremely busy this year with large amounts of sea lion pups and then onto larger CSLs (California Sea Lions) that suffer from domoic acid as well as those who come in with traumas/entanglements/malnutrition. We have a dedicated team that has put in hours and hours of care for these animals. The two night supervisors are GREAT teachers who have a lot of knowledge to share but unfortunately they're retiring (one not by choice). In the 7 months I've been here I've learned more than I can even imagine!
I've been watching the amazing work of MMC for years! The work they do is difficult and sometimes dangerous, yet they are always there for marine mammals in trouble. They make wonderful use of the volunteers who contribute to all aspects of life with seals, sea lions, otters, and whales! (Remember Humphrey the Humpback who wandered into San Francisco Bay?) The Marine Mammal Center does make use of medical and scientific experts for the best solutions to problems. They are ready also to experiment, try new approaches, ad lib when nothing else seems to work.
They have a wonderful center just north of the Golden Gate Bridge, and other locations (most recently in Hawaii). They have all kinds of support from donors and volunteers. A great place to visit.
They are a wonderful group, doing great work! As beach going people, it is heartening for us to know that there are organizations like this out there caring for the sea animals we love!
I am a docent at local tide pols with a breeding harbor seal population. The Marine Mammal Center is the only place to rescue and rehabilitate abandoned pups and injured adults. Those performing a beach rescue are always wonderful about teaching the public. Their research also provides valuable information on what is harming our pinnipeds.
A very caring and active group. Does great work, not just in helping marine mammals, but in educating the public about them and issues surrounding the ocean and conservation. They are impactful and informative.
A truly great organization where you see the results happening. They treat local marine mammals in trouble and have a high success rate.
An organization that helps rescue sick , injured,orphaned marine mammals is a life changing one to many mammals.With the ugliness in the world today. It is refreshing to see that some of the mammals have a chance again. Their future is brighter thanks to the people involved here. How can that not brighten someones day?a mammals day?Our oceans need more people like these, for the future of the animals and our children and our earth. If they educate 1 person , that's 1 person that hopefully has a new respect and understanding for these mammals and oceans .Our oceans and mammals need them !
They get the word out in a caring and non frightening way.. Great articles and a good source to learn at any age…. Very cringe people , god at networking.
If you are an animal lover and want to help our friends in the ocean, Marine Mammal Center is a wonderful organization that is saving lives every day. I know my money is going to good use there.
I have been a donor to MMC for a number of years, and have had the opportunity to visit the center on numerous occasions. The staff have always been helpful, I get regular updates on how things are going at the center, and the center itself is beautiful and well-kept, which is impressive. When I did a paper for a college class last spring, the contacts at MMC were tremendously helpful and their efforts were much appreciated. This is a group of folks who genuinely put the animals first, and I feel good about where my donations are going.