(SAUSALITO, Calif. – January 31, 2017) – The Marine Mammal Center is urgently seeking volunteer support to help fill a number of critical roles during the hospital’s busiest time of the year: “pupping season.” Elephant seals and harbor seals are returning to local beach rookeries along the Central Coast to give birth to their pups, and the Center has already rescued its first few seal pups of the year. Volunteer support is critical to help give these animals a second chance in the wild!

Tchotchke the sea lion is released back into the ocean by The Marine Mammal Center in December, 2017.

“Volunteering here at the Center is a unique experience because of how hands-on the work truly is,” says Michele Hunnewell, Animal Care Volunteer and Wednesday Crew Volunteer Supervisor. “The opportunity to have a major impact in giving these marine mammals a second chance is incredibly fulfilling and makes me feel like I’m making a difference.”

Animal care volunteers are urgently needed on weekday shifts from 7 AM-5 PM for a minimum of 6 months. Due to the immediate need of these animal care shifts, Center staff will provide all necessary training to new volunteers to allow them to make a difference right away. The Center is holding two open houses for interested members of the public on Thursday February 15 from 7-9 PM and on Saturday February 17 from 9-11 AM. Members of the public can register online at http://www.marinemammalcenter.org/Get-Involved/volunteer/volunteer-sausalito.html

Prospective volunteers can also email their volunteer team at volunteer@tmmc.org for more information on how they can can expedite the volunteer onboarding process for these roles.

Volunteers and staff from The Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito oversee the release of a sea lion in December, 2017.

The Center has also brought back the popular Fish Kitchen Support volunteer opportunity, in which members of the public can volunteer in their fish kitchen with no advanced training and no long-term commitment required. Interested persons can sign up online at http://www.marinemammalcenter.org/Get-Involved/volunteer/additional-volunteer-opps/fish-kitchen-support.html

New volunteers have the opportunity to be part of a strong community that makes up the backbone of the Center’s operations. Last year, the Center rescued and treated more than 630 marine mammals with the help of more than 1,200 volunteers who recorded an incredible 142,000 hours of service!