The Marine Mammal Center was founded in 1975 in Sausalito, California. The organization was started by Lloyd Smalley, Pat Arrigoni and Paul Maxwell. The main goal of TMMC is to save sick or injured aquatic mammals, nurse them back to health, and set them free back into the water. There are more than 1,300 participants working at TMMC who help to rehabilitate and care for these animals. Since TMMC was established, over 24,000 marine mammals have been saved in the states of California and Hawaii.
One of the mammals rescued by TMMC is a Northern Fur Seal named Flappy. Flappy was only four months old when she was discovered by TMMC. She was undernourished, weighed only 14 pounds, and no one knew where her mother was. Flappy was taken to TMMC’S hospital and was placed in their Intensive Care Unit. After becoming stronger, Flappy was transferred to an area with a pool where she could swim and catch fish. Flappy eventually recovered thanks to the efforts of the people at TMMC.
TMMC also conducts research on marine life to figure out better ways to care for marine mammals. They also look into how these animals depend on their ecosystem, in order to preserve them for future generations. Through their research, TMMC has learned that domoic acid or DA is making California sea lions ill. As DA moves up the marine food chain, it ends up in the fish they eat. Consumption of DA in sea lions causes neural activation of the hippocampus, resulting in seizures and brain damage. Another illness TMMC discovered plaguing sea lions is Leptospirosis. Leptospirosis is a type of bacteria that causes an infection of the kidneys. Antibiotics and fluids are used to treat this contrition, but even with treatment, two-thirds of sea lions with this disease will not survive. If any animal dies or must be euthanized, a necropsy is performed to help aid research. TMMC shares their findings with other organizations to find solutions and help treat the animals that come to them better.
TMMC works to educate the public about marine life and how to look after these animals. By teaching others, especially children, about these topics, TMMC hopes to inspire them to also take care of marine animals and their homes. There are plenty of options for learning more about marine science. TMMC has a Youth Crew program for high school students. If you're 15-18 and live in the San Francisco Bay Area, you can volunteer your time towards learning what TMMC does. You’ll participate in either caring for the animals or learning ocean preservation(depending on when you work). TMMC also offers various learning tools online. A Word with Dr. Whizzlepuff: Climate Change is an animated educational video for children ages 4-7. This video discusses how marine animals are impacted by climate change, and what we can do to stop it. To discover more of TMMC’S learning resources, go to this link: https://www.marinemammalcenter.org/education/adults-families.
If you care about the ocean and marine life, then it would be super of you to support the Marine Mammal Center. If you want to donate to this non-profit, click here: https://give.marinemammalcenter.org/a/save-our-seals?ms=donatebutton&img=biddle.
Center, T. M. M. (2022). What we do: The Marine Mammal Center. The Marine Mammal Center | What We Do. Retrieved April 12, 2022, from https://www.marinemammalcenter.org/about-us/what-we-do
Foundation, W. (2022, January 13). The Marine Mammal Center. Wikipedia. Retrieved April 12, 2022, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Marine_Mammal_Center
Center, T. M. M. (2022). Flappy. The Marine Mammal Center. Retrieved April 12, 2022, from https://www.marinemammalcenter.org/patients/nfs-520
Center, T. M. M. (2022). Leptospirosis. The Marine Mammal Center. Retrieved April 12, 2022, from https://www.marinemammalcenter.org/science-conservation/research-library/leptospirosis
Center, T. M. M. (2022). Youth Crew. The Marine Mammal Center. Retrieved April 12, 2022, from https://www.marinemammalcenter.org/get-involved/volunteer/sausalito/youth-crew
Center, T. M. M. (2022). A Word with Dr. Whizzlepuff: Climate Change. The Marine Mammal Center. Retrieved April 12, 2022, from https://www.marinemammalcenter.org/publications/a-word-with-dr-whizzlepuff-climate-change
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