Teaching Conservation has always been a cornerstone of education at PMMC. Since 2013, PMMC has invested many resources in becoming a leader of conservation practices, leading by example. We are walking the walk and talking the talk of conservation.

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Beach Clean-Ups

PMMC is committed to keeping our beaches and the environment we share with our marine mammal patients clean. We team up with local organizations, companies and other ocean lovers and periodically host beach clean-ups. You can even host your own beach clean-up and submit it on our site to add to how our community is making a difference. Check out our impact here!

Seafood Watch

The Pacific Marine Mammal Center is a proud member of the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch® program. As a conservation partner, it is our responsibility to assure that the seals, sea lions and sea turtles are being fed sustainably caught fish. We are also have a partnership with other Laguna Beach businesses aimed at raising local consumer, restaurateur, and seafood industry awareness of the importance of acquiring seafood from sustainable sources. PMMC provide regional support for the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch® program.

You can take conservation action by:

  • Being a sustainable seafood savvy diner. Support local restaurants that are committed to promoting and serving sustainable seafood. For a complete list of current Partner Restaurants, visit the Aquarium of the Bay’s website. Using the Seafood Watch app or website.

  • Download the Seafood Watch app for iPhone or Android for the most current recommendations or visit the Seafood Watch website for detailed reports on the science behind their recommendations.

  • Utilize the recipes found on the seafood watch app to explode the taste of your sustainably caught dinner.


Butterfly Garden

More than just a butterfly garden and as important as copepods in the marine environment, the garden, cared for by the UC Master Gardeners assists all pollinators, bees, hummingbirds and butterflies, the habitat to utilize for all life cycles. Bees in particular, are at risk with diseases affecting their population. PMMC goes beyond and embraces conservation practices for all species, not only marine mammals and sea turtles. Come in and explore beyond the marine environment.


National Wildlife Foundation Certified Wildlife Habitat

PMMC is committed to conserving nature and habitats for our terrestrial friends. The organization’s visitor yard, creek, and habitat surrounding our center has been deemed a Certified Wildlife Habitat by the National Wildlife Foundation. Being certified is all about helping wildlife survive through the essential habitat components of food, water, cover, and places to raise juvenile wildlife species. This designation allows us to also be part of a national effort to restore critical habitat for pollinators. Check out the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge.


Are marine mammal human interactions on the rise?

This is a question that researchers at PMMC are looking to answer. We are starting a retrospective analysis of human interaction (HI) cases here at the center. We are looking at orange county HI cases specifically to:

  • Determine if HI cases are on the rise or if we are putting more effort into looking for these types of cases.

  • Analyzing the type of human interaction to see if one is more common than other types.

  • Looking into the types of marine mammals that were afflicted with HI injuries. For example if California sea lions are entangled more than harbor seals.

Our data set is 1983-2019. All stored written records have been added to our master computerized spreadsheet. Concurrently to working up the HI data for Orange County, we are collaborating with researchers from the Marine Mammal Care Center of LA and comparing Orange County to the counties that MMCC of LA cover. This paper of the two centers will look at geographical differences, species difference, types of HI etc. Be on the lookout for a few publications that arise from this retrospective study in the next year.

The care of our marine mammals takes place outside PMMC. Sometimes the patients are just too big to bring back to the center. Explore PMMC’s key role in the Orange County Large Whale Entanglement Response and Pinniped Response Teams.

*Pacific Marine Mammal Center is a part of the Large Whale Entanglement Response Program. Due to the dangerous nature of responding to entangled large whales, our responders go thorough extensive training and many years of apprenticeship to learn the proper techniques and protocols to ensure THEIR SAFETY & THAT OF THE ANIMALS. This work is done under a permit held by NOAA’s Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program.

To report an entangled whale please call: 1-877-SOS-WHALE