Is the Marine Mammal Care Center Closing?

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Nikko Doughty and Sonia Valencia

The Marine Mammal Care Center here in Pedro might be closing, with all that they do for the sea animals, the entire community is trying to find a way to help them. 

In case you didn’t know, the Marine Mammal Care Center is a non-profit organization where they take care of sea animals if they are sick or hurt. This organization was started in 1978 at Marineland. Marineland unfortunately closed down in 1987 but arrangements were made to keep the organization alive and start at their own location. Their mission at The Marine Mammal Care Center is to increase public awareness on various environmental issues and the importance of ocean conservation. Of course, having so many animals and raising them can cost lots of money.

Recently the Marine Mammal Care Center had a party for local student journalists. Amber Becerra, the president of the Marine Mammal Care center, taught the journalists such as us things like what to do when you think a sea animal is hurt, how they live, what they eat, and much more.

Although, the cost depends on how much they get the seals. Elephant seals only nurse in February, many pups come in March, April, and May. This can make seals come in almost everyday. Currently, they have thirty sea lions and one elephant seal. Although, they do get a lot of sea due to plastic straws and bags. Using plastic for anything has been a big debate right now, and they are trying to get students and families to recycle and reuse. Another thing that causes lots of seals and sea lions to come in to the The Marine Mammal Care Center is when an El Niño hits. An El Niño caused the ocean temperatures to temporarily rise. This can cause major problems for marine life because their food will swim away to colder waters and they will have a lack of food.

Seals at the Marine Mammal Care Center

If you ever see an animal on the beach that you think is hurt, you can let them know. Some of the signs that a seal is hurt is when it’s laying on the beach all day, from day to night. This could mean they are injured or sick. You could also look under their eyes to see if they’re dehydrated, and the sides of their stomachs to see if they were fed. The Marine Mammal Protection Act was made in 1972 and was a response to growing concerns among scientists and the general public that certain species and populations of marine mammals were in danger of extinction and depletion because of human activities. Alyssa Mack, an eight grade student here at Dana shared her opinion, she says, “I think it is good work, I think they should be commended. I didn’t know that they might be closing down, but I think they shouldn’t because they’re doing good work.”

It would be a true shame if the The Marine Mammal Care Center were to shut down and seas were left stranded on the beaches left to die. But if everyone does their part and donates to them then they will be able to raise enough money and keep the organization alive.