Marine Mammals of Maine (MMOME) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the health, protection, care, understanding and education of Maine’s marine mammals. This is the only organization in southern and midcoast Maine performing this work. MMoME holds a federal permit authorizing its staff and volunteers to carry out this critical work between Kittery and Rockland, Maine. The organization relies extensively on its trained volunteer team to provide education and outreach to Maine communities, assist with development, fundraising, and provide expert response and assessment to nearly 300 marine mammals and sea turtles on an annual basis.
There are a few different ways to get involved with MMoME’s work! Opportunities range from the critical roles of assisting with development, fundraising, outreach, education, stranding response, and more. All perspective volunteers are required to attend an informational session to familiarize you with the organization, and to help you, and MMoME, identify if you’re a good fit for the volunteer roles currently available. The info sessions also offer an opportunity for individuals to meet some of MMoME’s staff and volunteers.
Fill out the below volunteer interest form (currently being updated, not all questions pertain to non-response volunteers) to receive information regarding the next info session.
Next scheduled perspective volunteer informational session:
January 15th, 2022 11:00 am-1:00 pm
*This info session may be held in-person, or virtually, depending on current CDC recommendations regarding the on-going pandemic. More information will be shared with those who filled out the interest form as the date approaches.
Marine Mammal Stranding Response Volunteers:
Volunteers who join the marine mammal stranding response team will participate in many aspects of live and dead pinniped (seal) and cetacean (whale, dolphin, or porpoise) response and data collection.
- Provide MMoME with weekly availability via an emailed Google document to respond to stranding locations.
- Respond to live and deceased marine mammal strandings based on weekly availability survey. This requires travel to strandings within your home town, as well as up to 1.5 hours away.
- Educate the public about marine mammals and the Marine Mammal Protection Act, promote MMoME, marine conservation, safe seal observation guidelines, and assist the public in maintaining an appropriate and legal distance from marine mammals (150 ft).
- Act as an informative, friendly, outgoing, respectful, and patient representative of MMoME on the beach, speaking with many people by interacting with the public, and town or state officials.
- Perform health assessments on live animals and communicate assessment to hotline dispatch (identify age class and species, evaluate body condition, locate wounds, assess behavior, etc.).
- Collect valuable data from live AND deceased marine mammals and enter information into an online database.
- Collect morphometric data from deceased marine mammals, removing and transporting for disposal or to MMoME for necropsy sampling.
- Monitor resting seals, relocate live seals to quieter/safer locations, or transport live animals to MMoME’s triage and rehab center when resources allow.
- Assist with the transport of triaged seal patients to out of state rehabilitation centers.
- Assist staff with medical treatments as necessary.
- Participate in and assist with outreach events and other non-response activities.
- Attend at least 1 training session each year to remain active as a MMoME response volunteer.
In order to become a stranding response volunteer with MMoME, a list of requirements must be met, and attend a training session. ALL of the below criteria are required of stranding response volunteers:
Stranding Response Volunteer Requirements:
- Minimum 18 years of age. Those under 18 can be accompanied by an 18+ volunteer who meets ALL the below criteria to respond with them at all times, and take on all animal handling. Any person under 18 years of age will not be permitted to touch or handle any live or deceased animals.
- Ability to lift 50 pounds and in good physical condition.
- Minimum commitment of at least 1 full year.
- MUST have reliable transportation and a valid driver’s license.
- MUST be able to fit at least a medium size kennel in your vehicle.
- MUST live in a coastal town between Portsmouth, NH and Rockport, ME.
- MUST attend an informational session and a training session to become active. Then attend subsequent training sessions yearly.
- MUST be able to provide your weekly availability via an internet-based Google doc form.
- MUST be willing to work in all weather conditions.
- MUST have a cell phone that can take, send and receive photos.
- MUST be able to follow protocols as directed by hotline dispatch.
- MUST be willing to drive up to 1.5 hours away from your home town for a live or deceased stranding.
In order to ensure our current volunteers are fully utilized and prioritized, MMoME is only recruiting new response volunteers from towns with low coverage. These specific areas are always changing so if you are interested in becoming a response volunteer and meet all the above criteria, please fill out the Volunteer Interest Form. Once completed and an info session attended, you will be notified of the next steps to be taken , including attending an informational session. After, our Stranding Coordinator will assess our current gaps in volunteer response coverage and accept applications for stranding response as needed. If MMoME is not in need of volunteers from your town, you can chose to be placed on our response volunteer wait list.
Please note that the above criteria listed for volunteer stranding responders is non-negotiable, and only individuals who meet all of the criteria will be considered.
We are currently not offering any animal care volunteer positions, but keep checking back as that may change in the future!