The Marine Mammal Stranding Center (MMSC) is dedicated to responding to marine mammals and sea turtles in distress along all of New Jersey’s waterways and to the rehabilitation of these animals for release back into the wild. In situations where animals may not be re-released, every effort is made to secure a proper, enriching facility to provide lifetime care. They are further committed to the well-being of marine mammals and to inspire responsible stewardship of the oceans through educational programs and collaboration.
Since the Center’s founding in 1978, staff and volunteers have responded to over 4000 calls for whales, dolphins, seals and sea turtles that washed ashore on New Jersey beaches. These animals range from a five pound Kemps Ridley Sea Turtle to a 25-ton Humpback Whale (both of which are endangered species).
Stranding volunteers must live within 15 minutes of the New Jersey Shore. When a stranding occurs on any beach in New Jersey, the MMSC calls stranding volunteers in that area. They immediately go to the location of the animal so they can “size up” the situation and notify the MMSC the degree of required action. The volunteer will receive specific instructions on what to do until the MMSC staff arrives at the scene. (A cell phone is very helpful in these situations.) The volunteer then stays with the animal until the staff arrives, and continues to assist in loading the animal into the vehicle. Stranding volunteers must attend a workshop to give them basic knowledge of what is to be expected.
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