The Marine Mammal Center

aka Marine Mammal Center   |   Sausalito, CA   |  MarineMammalCenter.org

Mission

The Marine Mammal Center advances global ocean conservation through marine mammal rescue and rehabilitation, scientific research, and education.

Ruling year info

1995

Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Jeffrey R. Boehm

Main address

2000 Bunker Road Fort Cronkhite

Sausalito, CA 94965 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

California Marine Mammal Center

EIN

51-0144434

NTEE code info

Animal Protection and Welfare (includes Humane Societies and SPCAs) (D20)

Marine Science and Oceanography (U21)

Research Institutes and/or Public Policy Analysis (B05)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The ocean is in trouble. From the depletion of fish stocks to increasing ocean temperatures, human activity threatens marine ecosystems that are vital to the health of our ocean and all life on earth. As a critical first responder to these threats, The Marine Mammal Center (the Center) is leading the field in ocean conservation through marine mammal rescue, veterinary medicine, science, and education. Marine mammals are sentinels of the sea, ecosystem indicators whose health provides insights into both the ocean’s health and our own. The Center is dedicated to taking action to support a network of scientists and concerned citizens around the world to protect our shared ocean environment for future generations.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Animal Care

With a volunteer force numbering more than 1,300 and the support of a concerned public, the Center is able to respond to marine mammals in distress. Sick and injured animals are treated and rehabilitated at our state-of-the-art veterinary facilities where we care for our patients until they can be released back to their ocean home. Covering a rescue range that spans 600 miles of California coastline and the Big Island of Hawai`i, the Center responds to more stranded marine mammals than any other organization in the world. Our sought-after experts are deployed locally and internationally to provide technical veterinary expertise and training on best practices ranging from anesthesia to disentanglement.

Population(s) Served
Adults

As a teaching hospital, the Center serves as a vital training ground for veterinary professionals from across the globe, expanding the collective understanding and application of marine veterinary science and conservation. Our innovative school and public education programs build a sense of responsibility through a connection to marine mammals and the marine environment, inspiring future ocean stewards and promoting action to protect the ocean. Each year, these education programs and hands-on trainings reach more than 100,000 children and adults, supporting the next generation of informed scientists and engaged citizens who will care for and ensure the health of our ocean and environment.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Adults

The Center is a major contributor to the global body of research and knowledge about marine mammal medicine and health. Our veterinary experts develop new clinical techniques to improve marine mammal rehabilitation and care, and investigate the reasons why marine mammals strand and how these factors are connected to ecosystem and human health. Learning from every animal we respond to, our researchers identify novel diseases and pathogens, support endangered species conservation and partner with scientists around the world on collaborative research that utilizes samples and data collected by the Center. Marine mammal health, ocean health and human health are inextricably linked, and our work advances knowledge of all three to benefit us all.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of animals rescued

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Animal Care

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The Marine Mammal Center’s mission is to advance global ocean conservation through marine mammal rescue and rehabilitation, scientific research, and education.

The Center’s 2021-22 organizational goals are:

Goal 1: Advance the field of marine mammal health and care.
Goal 2: Strengthen conservation and protection of marine mammals.
Goal 3: Inspire and equip people to take actions that protect marine mammals and the ocean.
Goal 4: Enhance organizational health, culture, and effectiveness.

To advance our mission, we focus our work in three key program areas:

1. Animal Care

With a volunteer force numbering more than 1,300 and the support of a concerned public, the Center is able to respond to marine mammals in distress. Sick and injured animals are treated and rehabilitated at our state-of-the-art veterinary facilities where we care for our patients until they can be released back to their ocean home. Covering a rescue range that spans 600 miles of California coastline and the Big Island of Hawai`i, the Center responds to more stranded marine mammals than any other organization in the world. Sick and injured animals are treated and rehabilitated at our state-of-the-art veterinary facilities where we care for our patients until they can be released back to their ocean home. Our sought-after experts are deployed locally and internationally to provide technical veterinary expertise and training on best practices ranging from anesthesia to disentanglement.

2. Scientific Research

The Center is a major contributor to the global body of research and knowledge about marine mammal medicine and health. Our veterinary experts develop new clinical techniques to improve marine mammal rehabilitation and care and investigate the reasons why marine mammals strand and how these factors are connected to ecosystem and human health. Learning from every animal we respond to and studying animals in the wild, our researchers identify novel diseases and pathogens, support endangered and threatened species conservation, identify and help mitigate human-caused threats and partner with scientists around the world on collaborative research that utilizes samples and data collected by the Center. Marine mammal health, ocean health and human health are inextricably linked, and our work advances knowledge of all three to benefit us all.

3. Education

As a teaching hospital, the Center serves as a vital training ground for veterinary professionals from across the globe. Our innovative school and public education programs build a sense of responsibility through a connection to marine mammals and the marine environment, inspiring future ocean stewards and promoting action to protect the ocean. Each year, these education programs and hands-on trainings reach more than 100,000 children and adults, supporting the next generation of informed scientists and engaged citizens who will care for and ensure the health of our ocean and environment.

The Center is the world’s largest marine mammal hospital. Operating for more than four decades, no other organization in the world treats such an extraordinary number and variety of marine mammal species and medical conditions. As a critical first responder, the Center answers 10,000 calls annually to its 24-hour rescue hotline. Admitted marine mammals may be diseased, injured or entangled in fishing gear or ocean trash. The Center’s medical experts care for 800-1,000 seals, sea lions and sea otters every year with the goal of returning them back to the ocean.

The Center’s headquarters in Sausalito includes a state-of-the-art veterinary hospital, diagnostic laboratory, pathology suite, and robust research and data departments. With 55 pens and more than 20 pools, the Center has cared for as many as 291 patients at one time and is part of the Oiled Wildlife Care Network, poised to respond to an oiled wildlife emergency when needed. The Center operates triage facilities in Morro Bay, and Moss Landing, CA as well as a fully equipped hospital and visitor center in Hawai’i, dedicated to saving the endangered Hawaiian monk seal from extinction. A team of over 100 staff and 1,300 volunteers who contribute the work hours equivalent to another 70 full-time staff keep the Center operating 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

The Center’s veterinarians are globally recognized and sought after for their expertise and training on best practices ranging from anesthesia to disentanglement. The Center collaborates with NOAA scientists and other researchers nationally and internationally to monitor and support the health of endangered populations, including Southern sea otters, Hawaiian monk seals, Guadalupe fur seals, and others. The Center’s development of care protocols and innovative techniques with non-endangered species has been applied with great success to threatened and endangered species care.

The Center’s researchers have been primary or contributing authors on hundreds of peer-reviewed articles. This research has revealed information about underlying causes of disease in marine mammals, such as the high cancer rates in sea lions and the impacts of biotoxins on wildlife. To further research-driven solutions, in 2019 the Center added a Cetacean Field Research Program focused on informing proactive solutions for whales, dolphins and porpoises facing increasing threats from human interactions in urban settings like ship strikes.

The Center’s innovative and award-winning student, teacher and informal public learning programs build enthusiasm for science and a sense of responsibility for ocean health through a dynamic connection to marine mammals. The Center works with many local and national partners to raise awareness about climate science and communication and find solutions to reduce our carbon footprint, including serving as a leading training partner to local and national groups and as a global resource for science and conservation communication.

In its 45-year history, the Center has rescued over 23,000 marine animals, is a leading contributor to the global body of research on marine mammal medicine and health, and serves as a critical training ground for veterinary professionals from around the world. Every year the Center engages 100,000 children and adults around the connection between marine mammals and ocean health, including human-caused threats like climate change. Its programs support Next Generation Science Standards and Ocean Literacy Principles and its flagship middle-school marine science program was among six in California to receive the 2019 Superintendent’s Award for Excellence in Museum Education.

PLAN FOR ACTION

Given the urgent challenges facing our oceans, the Center has embarked on an ambitious five-year strategic plan to help ensure a vibrant and healthy ocean for animals and people alike. Its impact strategy focuses on the following three strategic initiatives.

I. Global Response Initiative

The ultimate vision for this initiative is to support a worldwide response network capable of responding to every marine mammal in need, and to ensure that marine mammal populations worldwide can thrive. Demand for the Center’s support and training of organizations and individuals worldwide is growing every year. The Center is increasing the capacity and infrastructure to lead whale entanglement response on the West Coast of the United States and adding its voice and expertise to the coalition of dedicated individuals and organizations working to solve problems before they affect marine mammals.

II. Marine Mammal Veterinary Teaching Hospital Initiative

Creating a pipeline of trained marine science and marine veterinary professionals is an essential element in addressing these pressing global ocean conservation concerns. This Initiative will strengthen the field of ocean conservation and marine mammal science and medicine by training emerging leaders in marine biology, marine mammal veterinary medicine, pathology, laboratory sciences, and rescue and response and inspiring high-performing undergraduate students, veterinary students, and graduates to pursue careers in marine science and marine mammal medicine.

III. Education Initiatives

A. School Programs
The Center inspires the next generation of marine scientists and ocean stewards whose actions will determine the future of our ocean. The Center is expanding its reach over the next five years, with special emphasis in two areas: 1) Its middle school marine science and ocean conservation programs, and 2) Digital Learning, which will increase access to unique content on marine conservation for students, teachers, and curious citizens around the world.

B. Public Awareness and Engagement
The Center’s mission cannot be achieved without the understanding, commitment and participation of the public. The goal is to share information and inspire and equip people to take concrete actions to protect the ocean and marine mammals.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    In addition to the 800 – 1,000 wild marine mammals we rescue and rehabilitate each year, the Center also engages 100,000 people of all ages in marine science and conservation. The Center is the largest marine mammal hospital and education center in the world, and our programs serve teachers, students, and schools, the public, organizational partners, and emerging leaders in veterinary science and research, animal care and husbandry, and conservation education. Over 1,300 committed volunteers make the Center’s impact possible and keep it operating 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    SMS text surveys, Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Community meetings/Town halls, Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees, Suggestion box/email,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    As a leader in marine mammal care, the Center provides intensive, hands-on experience and training in our Teaching Hospital to 100 visitors from around the world, who go on to become leading contributors to the fields of veterinary medicine and marine science and conservation. We recently surveyed over 100 Teaching Hospital participants from the past five years. These former interns, externs, residents, and other participants reported significant gains in knowledge and critical skills in marine mammal care, science, and medicine, and many noted that their experience was invaluable and transformative. When we learned that they enthusiastically support the development of an alumni network to keep in touch with other alumni, we began the process of developing this network to meet their needs.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    By asking for and incorporating feedback from those we serve, we improve our programs, processes, and impact. Instead of top-down decision-making, collaboration with those we serve gives us the opportunity to design our programs to suit the needs of our programs’ participants. For example, our middle-school ocean conservation programs in California and Hawai’i are in great demand because of our ongoing collaboration with teachers in these programs on curriculum and program development. One of our major goals is to empower the teachers in our programs with the skills and confidence needed to teach science well. Engaging them in program development ensures that their needs are met and that they feel confident in creating and delivering science content within the program and beyond.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don’t have the right technology to collect and aggregate feedback efficiently,

Financials

The Marine Mammal Center
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

The Marine Mammal Center

Board of directors
as of 11/19/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Cecily Majerus

Mark McKee

Capital Alternatives

Patricia Callahan

Wells Fargo Bank

Betty Hasler

Hasler Executive Search (Retired)

Sandor Straus

Tigmera, LLC.

Karen Johnson-McKewan

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP

Glen Mathison

Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

Phil Carpenter

PAN Communications

Chris Lundquist

Verisk Analytics Businesses

Lisa Pantages

San Francisco Giants

Merrill Magowan

San Francisco Sentry Investment Group

Cecily Majerus

Joshua Copp

McKinsey & Company

Julian Brandes

Private Ocean

Jennifer Bushman

Pacific Catch, Inc.

Susie Campbell

Genentech Foundation for Biomedical Sciences

Greg Friedman

Private Ocean

Jennifer Lively

Brian Putler

Bank of America

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 03/23/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, or other sexual orientations in the LGBTQIA+ community
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 03/23/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.