Volunteer with Marine Mammals of Maine
Marine Mammals of Maine (MMoME) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the health, protection, care, understanding and education of Maine’s marine mammals. We are 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. We rely extensively on our trained volunteer team to provide education and outreach to Maine communities, assist with fundraising, and provide expert response and assessment to approximately 300 marine mammals and sea turtles on an annual basis.
There are a few different ways to get involved with MMoME’s work! All prospective volunteers are required to attend an informational session to become more familiar 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 volunteer interest form to receive information regarding the next info session.
Next scheduled prospective volunteer info sessions:
- March 9, 2024, 10 am-noon
- July 20, 2024, 10 am-noon
- November 16, 2024, 10 am-noon
Info sessions may be held in-person or virtually. More information will be shared with those who filled out the interest form as the date approaches.
FOAMM Program Volunteers
MMoME has big goals for its stranding response, animal care, research, and education programs. Our organization is almost entirely supported by private grants and donations, and with a small staff, we have to prioritize bigger grants and donor development. Given our small staff we are missing out on so many outreach and fundraising opportunities across our response region. This is where you come in!
We are looking for passionate, dedicated individuals to join us in forming MMoME’s FOAMM Program (Fundraising, Outreach, and Awareness for Marine Mammals). Members of the FOAMM Program will be responsible for researching and attending outreach and fundraising events in their area. We’re hoping to create a team with representatives from each of the areas below to cover our response region. Help us get out, educate, and inspire!
- Nubble (Kittery to South Portland, ME)
- Casco (Portland to Newcastle, ME)
- Breakwater (Rockland to Damariscotta, ME)
- One year commitment
- Willing to volunteer and learn- development or fundraising experience is not necessary, just icing on the cake!
- Has the time to dedicate between 2-5 hrs per week (weeks with events/ fundraisers heavier than others)
- Self-motivated- able to work independently
- Able and willing to work on a team with other staff and volunteers
- Passionate about MMoME’s mission and representing the organization well
- Able to meet once a month
- Comfortable working outreach events and approaching businesses about fundraising- personable
- Access to internet
- Members will be responsible for researching local fundraising opportunities and outreach events within their region.
- Before committing to a fundraiser or event, our Event Form must be filled out 2 months prior to event, then approved by MMoME staff. After it has been approved, FOAMM member can commit to said event if they, and/or other members, are available to attend. **Commitment to working these events is important, as MMoME doesn’t have enough staff or staff time to cover these events if availability falls through**
- Members will meet once a month to share findings and discuss ideas, successes, and challenges.
- On top of events and fundraisers that are found within the program, members will also be called on to help with MMoME events, such as our Ocean Commotion 5K, annual appeal letters, looking for sponsorships and raffle items for existing fundraisers, etc.
- Should expect to spend between 2 and 5 hours a week
- 1-2 events between Jan-April, 3 events May-Aug, 1-2 Sept-Dec (across response region)
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 feet).
- 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.
- 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 prospective volunteers have completed the interest form and attended an info session the stranding coordinator will be in contact about the next steps. The 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 choose 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.
Animal Care Volunteers
We are currently not offering any animal care volunteer positions.