Marine Mammal Center
Focus: Animal care and Marine biology.
At The Marine Mammal Center, we are guided and inspired by a shared vision of a healthy ocean for marine mammals and humans alike. Our mission is to advance global ocean conservation through marine mammal rescue and rehabilitation, scientific research, and education.
During rehabilitation of the animals, our research team studies the causes of their illnesses and by doing so, learns about conditions affecting the health of marine mammal populations and the oceans – conditions that can affect humans as well. Our core research includes studying domoic acid poisoning in sea lions, bacterial infections such as leptospirosis, and even cancer, which is found in approximately 17% of adult sea lions that undergo post mortem at our hospital.
Our education programs teach nearly 30,000 students and adults each year about marine mammals and the urgent need for environmental stewardship of earth's marine environments, with the goal of inspiring ocean conservation. Our school programs are designed to support the California State Academic Standards for science. Additionally, our Youth Crew provides teenage ocean stewards with hands-on experience as volunteers working with animal care crews or as education docents.
In 2009, we opened a new facility in our original location in the Marin Headlands. This four-year, $32 million transformation has considerably improved our ability to care for and study marine mammals, provides a collaborative work environment for staff and volunteers, and now offers the public the opportunity to learn about the interdependence they share with marine mammals and the ocean through exhibits and open viewing of animal care and work areas.
Our new Center is one of the largest marine mammal hospitals in the world to combine animal rehabilitation with an onsite research lab. We can care for more than 200 animals at once and treat 600 or more a year.
Costs & Benefits
The Marine Mammal Center is a leading rescue, rehabilitation and release facility for marine mammals. It treats almost 600 animals a year. Volunteer crews work on a 6-12 hour shift, both day and evening, 365 days a year.
Volunteers prepare food, feed animals, restrain animals for tube feeds and physical exams, clean pens, wash dishes, do laundry, administer medication, weigh animals and chart all observations. Training is provided.
Volunteers must provide accommodation, food and transportation. There is no public transportation to the site. Volunteers can reach the site by bicycle.
Volunteers must be aged 18 years old and over with an ability to work as part of a team and with wild animals.
Marine Mammal Center (TMMC)
Marin Headlands, GGNRA
Tel: ++1 (415) 289 7325 / 289-7374 (volunteer inquiries)
Average cost per day: No Fees
Focus: Animal care and Marine Biology
Skills needed: Volunteers must be at least 18 years old