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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

37 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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!

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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.

3 twpenguin

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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.

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

They work so hard at conservation and do a great job of keeping the public informed.

3 Rick64

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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.

2 Ambriel G - No GMOs.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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,
Ambriel G.

2 James127

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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.

2 Priscilla9

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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!

2 M P.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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 ! :)

2 Judy111

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

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.

2 Tierra C.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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!

2 Erin73

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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!!!!!!!

2 Aqua J.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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!

3 Joni M.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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.

2 Jackie48

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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!

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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.

2 Nikki25

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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 !