The Marine Mammal Center, Sausalito

#1 of 16 in Museums in Marin County
Specialty Museum · Educational Site
The Marine Mammal Center (TMMC) is a private, non-profit U.S. organization that was established in 1975 for the purpose of rescuing, rehabilitating and releasing marine mammals who are injured, ill or abandoned. It was founded in Sausalito, California, by Lloyd Smalley, Pat Arrigoni and Paul Maxwell. Since 1975, TMMC has rescued over 23,000 marine mammals. It also serves as a center for environmental research and education regarding marine mammals, namely cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises), pinnipeds (seals, fur seals, walruses and sea lions), otters and sirenians (manatees and dugongs). Marine mammal abandonment refers to maternal separation; pups that have been separated from their mother before weaning. At the center, they receive specialized veterinary care: they are diagnosed, treated, rehabilitated and ideally, released back into the wild. Animals in need of assistance are usually identified by a member of the public who has contacted the center. These animals represent the following major species: California sea lions, northern elephant seals, Pacific harbor seals, northern fur seals and southern sea otters. On a few occasions, TMMC has taken in Guadalupe fur seals, Steller sea lions and bottlenose/Pacific white-sided dolphins. The only non-mammals that TMMC takes in are sea turtles.
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339 reviews
  • To those who are not familiar with the Marine Mammal Center, it is a place where rescued or abandoned sick and injured marine mammals are nursed back to health and released back to the ocean. They...  more »
  • It is incredible important to see what can achieved by all volunteers. Their job is very important for saving species and learning everything what is going on in the ocean. The guides can tell you...  more »
  • You get to see what work is done to protect the seas, sea lions and whales of the bay. You don't see the animals up close but from a platform; this is so the animals aren't stressed out by visitors. It is very well run. I'd definitely recommend the $10 tour as you get to hear a bit more about what goes on behind the scenes.
  • The modest tour fees support their work. It's a working hospital, so you can see everything to a kid habituation to humans. The behind-the-scenes tour does take you beyond where the basic tour goes. The volunteers are very passionate about their work. Definitely an interesting visit.

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