The Pacific Marine Mammal Center
What's your organization's mission? What was the driver that started the organization?
The mission of the Pacific Marine Mammal Center is to rescue, rehabilitate and release marine mammals and inspire ocean stewardship through research, education, and collaboration.
What's one thing you wish more people knew about the work you're doing?
We are more than just a seal or sea lion rescue, we rescue and respond to ALL sick or injured marine mammals including whales and dolphins and are part of the California Large Whale Entanglement Response Program. We also are an education and research hub. We see and educate around 10,000 kids a year through a variety of our education programs and see over 55,000 visitors in our visitor yard annually. PMMC also has an ocean conservation and research program and is committed to bettering our environment through research and scientific collaboration.
What's a moment or success that made you really proud and confident in your mission?
This year we had an animal who came in with a very serious life threatening injury. He had some fishing line wrapped so tightly around his head and neck, it severed his ear and he wouldn’t have lasted much longer out there. Our animal care team was able to safely remove the line, heal his wounds and in a matter of months the sea lion named Van Gogh was released back to his ocean home, healthy, happy with a second chance at life, and our team did that!
What do you hope the world looks like in ten years from now?
If we don't band together for change, Van Gogh’s story—and all the other animals we saw this year that had human caused injury or illness—will be more common than not. The amount of trash, chemicals, and plastic going into our oceans is affecting our environment and hurting our marine life in astronomical ways. We need to see change and that starts with educating and awareness.
What's the best way people can help the cause?
The first is to educate yourself on the issues. Visit and learn more about PMMC as well as other local environmental non-profits. Then get involved! Whether that be donating, volunteering, or participating in a beach clean-up, nothing is too small. You can find out more about PMMC and some of our programs at www.pacificmmc.org