Greetings. I'm Jeff, the 2015 board president of MAR3INE. For more than 20 years, MAR3INE has raised money to support the only year round animal hospital for seals and sea lions in Los Angeles County. Located just above the ocean in San Pedro, the Marine Mammal Care Center is a 24/7 marine mammal hospital that helps more than 500 stranded seals and sea lions annually rehabilitate from malnutrition, injuries or illness, all toward the goal of releasing these elegant mammals back into their ocean habitat.
When you think of a hospital, you think of three types of services. You can make an appointment at a clinic to be evaluated by a doctor or nurse and obtain treatment. You can schedule a surgery to be done in a few weeks. Or, you can go right now to an emergency room to get help when a serious problem arises that can't wait for an appointment.
For a seal or sea lion, the MMCC hospital starts as an emergency room. The sick, injured, or malnourished pinniped is rescued from a beach, brought to the MMCC, weighed and checked for injury, given a food/medicine plan, then assigned an enclosure to rest in. Occasionally they get their own pen, but mostly it means bunking with other seals or sea lions in a dry area that may have a pool. During the busy season in March-May, an animal may have a few dozen roommates. At this time the hospital is like a daily clinic visit where mammal patients are fed by teams of volunteers. Mostly it is R and R time, so the mammal can heal and gain weight. When ready, they graduate to a deep pool to dive for fish.
Volunteers are an essential part of the animal care team, even those who contribute without being in animal pens. They regularly wash pens and walkways to keep the area optimally clean. They wash piles of dishes and disinfect feeding tubes. They thaw fish and prepare gruel. They do laundry and update feeding and medical records. They help keep the filtration system working, and act as docents for visitors. Some volunteers have years of experience and training, and others have newly joined us. Some come once per week, and others much more.
Serving on the MAR3INE board means understanding MMCC operations and needs so we can raise money through donations, grants and memberships. We have been working with MMCC on two crucial projects in 2015. First, we have been helping with outreach and community relations by upgrading the website. Secondly, we have been helping address staffing needs by supporting the employment of a volunteer coordinator.
It is rewarding to contribute to MMCC, a San Pedro animal hospital. Please join us as a member, donor or become part of a volunteer team.