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volunteers feeding elephant seal patients a bucket of fish
  • Volunteer

Help rescue and rehabilitate marine mammals, educate the public, and so much more.

Volunteers are the heart and soul of The Marine Mammal Center.

Select a location across our 600-mile rescue range in California and Hawai`i to find an opportunity that’s right for you.

Are you looking for an internship? Learn more about our current opportunities

Are you a veterinary professional? Learn more about our Teaching Hospital.

Join an Active Network


Volunteers Like You

Rescuing seals and sea lions allows me to feel that I made a difference for that one being.

The ability to get close to the animals and make some sort of connection is breathtaking, even if the animals themselves do not appreciate being captured and put into a carrier. Volunteering with the team in Sonoma and Mendocino counties (north of Jenner) is spectacular—sometimes I think we’re reading each other’s minds.

Since 2000
Tanya Smart

Rescue and Response Volunteer, Sonoma and Mendocino

We don’t know the consequences of our impact on the natural world and not all of them are as obvious as a floating fish net.

This is why I volunteer at the Center. I do so because I want the sum of my impacts on this world to culminate in the most diverse world possible.

Since 2014
Dot Norris

Ke Kai Ola Response Volunteer

When I first started, I thought this would be a fun experience ... I really had no idea just how rewarding it would be.

Volunteering at the Center has put my life in perspective. I always felt fortunate to work in Hollywood. Now that I’m volunteering at the Center, I consider myself again fortunate to be given the opportunity to be part of an organization making a real difference in protecting the health of our ocean and marine life for future generations.

Since 2015
Tony Salome

Tuesday Crew Supervisor, San Luis Obispo Operations

Since I was little I’ve loved the ocean. Growing up, it was so amazing to read about marine life and read about all the discoveries being made.

But I was getting bored just reading about it. I needed a second point of view, a hands-on experience to rekindle my passion. That is what the Center did for me. I get to work hands-on with animals I’d only ever read about and most importantly, I feel like I’m making a difference.

Natalie Ritter

2017 Youth Crew

I had no idea how much connection I could feel with wild animals, how much they would touch my heart and make me want to do more …

The Center also renewed my faith in humanity. I am amazed at the amount of people who are so willing to give so much, so selflessly to see wild animals returned to their ocean homes, to learn more about them and their habitats, and to improve methods of rehabilitation that are shared with the world.

Since 2010
Giselle Viltz

Wednesday Topside Assistant Supervisor

Volunteers Make Second Chances Possible for Our Patients

northern fur seal Reina


Northern Fur Seal — Female
northern elephant seal Shrub with enrichment items including fake kelp and a red buoy


Northern Elephant Seal — Female
California sea lion Mayhem


California Sea Lion — Male
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