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Press Releases


The Marine Mammal Center Commemorates 40th Anniversary
While Responding To Record-Breaking Numbers of Starving Sea Lions

(SAUSALITO, Calif. – March 23, 2015) – The Marine Mammal Center is holding a press event this Thursday, March 26, to commemorate its 40th anniversary during one of the worst years on record for California sea lions. The current crisis underscores the importance of the Center’s work to the Bay Area community, California coastline and marine conservation efforts.

“The Marine Mammal Center exists because the community wants us here,” said Dr. Jeff Boehm, executive director. “Our story is one of collaboration and community support.”

Boehm emphasizes: “While we honor the accomplishments of the past 40 years, our work has become more urgent and necessary than ever. The current sea lion crisis highlights that our rescue and rehabilitation work, scientific research and educational programs are a vital effort in saving our ocean environment.”

In 1975, Lloyd Smalley, Paul Maxwell and Pat Arrigoni established the California Marine Mammal Center on the site of a former Nike missile site in the Marin Headlands. A sea lion named Herman was the first patient to be treated and released. Since then, the Center has responded to over 20,000 marine mammals in its 600-mile rescue range along the California coast.

In 2015, patient numbers are breaking records. The Center has already responded to more than 692 animals this year, compared to 146 at this time last year.

More than 1,100 volunteers support 50 staff in all areas of operations, from animal care to education. With headquarters located in the magnificent Golden Gate National Recreation area, a close collaboration with NOAA Fisheries, and the incredible support of businesses, foundations and private donors, The Marine Mammal Center has evolved into the largest rehabilitation hospital of its kind in the world, allowing not only an effective response to the current sea lion crisis, but also a focus on scientific research to help prevent similar crises in the future.

To commemorate the 40th anniversary, The Marine Mammal Center will host a press conference on Thursday, March 26, 2015 at 9:30am. Please email Laura Sherr at with any questions and to RSVP.

Media will have the opportunity to interview Director of Veterinary Science, Dr. Shawn Johnson, on the continuing sea lion crisis and get a behind-the-scenes look at the work that goes into caring for 200+ animals each day.

The Marine Mammal Center
2000 Bunker Road, Fort Cronkhite, Sausalito, CA 94965

9:00am Registration
9:30am Speakers
10:00am Interviews and Media tours available

Dr. Jeff Boehm, Executive Director, The Marine Mammal Center
Merrill Magowan, Board of Directors, The Marine Mammal Center
Howard Levitt, Director of Communications & Partnerships, Nat’l Park Service
John Simon, Senior Vice President, Human Resources, PG&E
Jennifer Weller, TMMC Volunteer Representative

Directions to The Marine Mammal Center can be found here. Upon arrival, please proceed through the gate at the bottom of the hill; parking is available at the top of the hill.

For high-resolution photography, please contact Laura Sherr at (415) 289-7361 or

About The Marine Mammal Center:
Founded in 1975 out of compassion for stranded seals and sea lions, The Marine Mammal Center has evolved into the world’s largest marine mammal rehabilitation hospital. In addition to the rescue of marine mammals, this nonprofit organization is internationally acclaimed for its scientific research and educational programs. As a true teaching hospital, the Center hosts veterinarians from around the world who come to train and gives schoolchildren the opportunity to slip into the mindset of marine biologists, developing a passion for the ocean environment and its protection.

The 40th Anniversary year is presented by PG&E, our partner in sustainability.

The best way for the public to help in this immediate crisis is to donate at:

We also ask the public to not approach, touch or remove a stranded marine mammal, as this is both unsafe and illegal. Please call our 24-hour rescue hotline at 415-289-SEAL (7325) with exact location information and let us respond.

For more information, visit

Download the full press release



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