The Marine Mammal Center General Infomation


Located in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area since 1975. The Marine Mammal Center is the only organization authorized by the National Marine Fisheries Service to recue and provide veterinary care for ill and injured marine mammals along 600 miles of California coast. We’re able to do this through our staff and over 800 volunteers that also work out of our additional field offices in Mendocino, Monterey and San Luis Obispo Counties.

During rehabilitation, our researchers study marine mammal health, maintain the national marine mammal tissue bank, and publish their findings in scientific journals. By doing so, our researcher contribute to our developing understanding of the state of our greatest resource-the oceans.

We are able to combine our expertise in providing response to marine mammals in distress with educational outreach that is designed to inspire ocean stewardship at any age.

Seals are more than lovable, intelligent creatures. They are mammals, just like us. So, when something in the ocean makes them sick, we too are at risk. Since 1975, The Marine Mammal Center has rescued thousands of these sentinels of the sea and continues to identify the causes of marine mammal illness and how that affects the health of the ocean.

In addition, our education program teach thousands of students and the visiting public each year about marine mammals, what they can tell us about ocean health, and the urgent need for environmental stewardship of the earth’s marine environments.

By integrating rescue, rehabilitation, research and education programs, we’re saving more than seals. We’re discovering the connections that will help us save ourselves.

Volunteers: The Backbone of our center

Volunteers are the driving force of our organization. From rescue to animal care, and education to support services-your help will always be appreciated. You don’t need to be an expert about marine mammals to volunteer: we’ll teach you! You just need to have an interest and a desire to make a difference for these amazing creatures!

Youth Volunteer Program

Gives students ages 14-18 the opportunity to become directly involved in the Center’s work by volunteering on animal care crews or as educational docents. This program is a positive experience for teens and encourages community involvement and interest in careers in science.