Disclosure: This is a sponsored post on behalf of Dawn Dish Soap. All opinions, and stories belong to Jamie of MN Girl in the World on behalf of Jen is on a Journey. This is one post apart of a 4 part series in relation to Proctor & Gamble and Dawn Dish Soap’s dedication to the Wildlife.
If there were 3 words to describe everything that happens at The Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, CA, they’d be: Hard Work, Dedication, and Passion. So, maybe those were 4 words.
When I was invited out to go behind the scenes at The Marine Mammal Center, I knew it was a center dedicated to rescuing animals, however, I had no idea about ALL the work that goes on behind the scenes.
Here’s a few fun facts:
This year alone, they have seen well over 900 animals come into the center!
During the busy season, staff and volunteers help sort up to 1000 lbs of fish a day because the animals eat that much!
Staff and Volunteers at the Marine Mammal Center help Rescue, Take Care of, and Release the Animals while also educating the public about the animals at the Center and their missions.
The Marina Mammal Center has three missions: Rescue and Rehabilitate sick and injured marine mammals, partner with leading scientists and others to learn about the mammals in their care along with expanding their advance scientific knowledge, and educating the public and scientific community to foster stewardship towards the care of our environment.
They make their own Salt Water, starting with just tap water, with their own filtration system right on property. It is illegal to take Salt Water from the Ocean.
All this work is done with just 45 Staff Members and 1100 Volunteers!
Dawn Dish Soap is the chosen choice of Dish Soap at The Marine Mammal Center because it was proven over and over again to be the BEST for animals. They have been partners since 2006.
Dawn has donated over 50,000 Bottles to both the Marine Mammal Center and the International Bird Foundation that has helped saved over 75,000 animals!
The Life of a Volunteer:
During my visit at The Marine Mammal Center I got to shadow a volunteer at the center for over a hour. My volunteer, Valerie Porter, has been a volunteer for over a 1 and a half, but the one thing I got from her was how TRULY passionate she was to be there.
As she told me about the center and explained the processes of what we would be doing, it dawned on me how dedicated these over 1100 volunteers are to the center. Valerie helps out at the center every Friday starting a little after 8 in the morning and working until the work is done. During the busy season, volunteers can put in 12 to 14 hour days to make sure these animals are taken care of. She does this while also going to school full time. It is her desire to become a bio-medical engineer.
During my time of shadowing her, I learned the process of weighing an animal at the center along with the process of cleaning a pen. It is HARD work.
Valerie and her team demonstrated how they moved a Sea Lion out of the pen and into a carrier so they could weigh it:
The volunteers utilize Rescue Boards. These boards help guide the animal in the direction that is needed to go along with helping to protect the volunteers. These Sea Lions have mouths with TEETH, and their bites hurt. One of Valerie’s favorite memories is when a Sea Lion kept biting one of the boards in use while they helped guide him out of a pen.
Along with helping guide the animals, clean pens, volunteers also help to sort and feed the animals at the center. We got to help with the process of sorting the food:
Sorting fish with The Rebel Chick.
Photo Credit: Susan Goldman
The Release of the Animals:
The end goal for EVERY animal that comes into the Marine Mammal Center is to be put back into the Wildlife. Although, there are some that do not make it.
BUT, the best part, always, is when they do get rehabilitated, and they find their way back home. The average stay for an animal at the center is just 6 weeks.
Truly, the best part of our day at the center was when we were able to watch 3 Sea Lions be released back into the Wild. Can you feel the excitement?
Because we were. This was an once in a lifetime experience. Releases are never made public, and the only time others happen to see as if they’re on the beach when the release happens.
See for yourself how these animals reacted:
A huge THANK YOU goes out to Dawn Dish Soap and The Marine Mammal Center for this amazing experience that will forever be ingrained in my memory. Be sure to keep an eye out for future stories as we talk more in depth about these organizations and showcase videos of our in depth Day in the Wildlife at The Marine Mammal Center.
For more information be sure to check out Dawn Saves Wildlife.