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Marine Mammal Center

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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

50 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

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 )

profile

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!

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.

3 Julie240

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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!

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Truly an amazing group of people dedicated to helping the animals in their care and educating the public.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

3 Mary391

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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!

3 Allie_b

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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!

3 Ranel P.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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!

3 Michael183

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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!

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

2 Angie52

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.