Marine Mammals of Maine (MMoME) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the health, protection, conservation, 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 respond to, handle and care for stranded marine mammals and sea turtles between Kittery and Rockland, Maine. The organization relies extensively on its trained volunteer team to carry out our broad scope of critical work.
There are a few different ways to get involved! Opportunities range from 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 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 below to receive information on next steps. Thank you for your interest in supporting our work, we look forward to meeting you at an informational session!
*MMoME is currently not offering volunteer positions in animal care. Please stay tuned for updates on any changes to our animal care program in the future!**
2020 Info Session Dates:
April 5th, 2020: 10:00 am-11:30 am
July 12th, 2020: 10:00 am-11:30 am
November 15th, 2020: 10:00 am-11:30 am
Marine Mammal Stranding Response Volunteer Program:
Volunteers who meet all criteria and are invited to join the marine mammal stranding response team will participate in many aspects of live and dead response and data collection.
- Provide MMoME with weekly availability via a google document to respond to stranding locations;
- Respond to live and deceased marine mammal and sea turtles based on your weekly availability and stranding locations. This requires travel with your own vehicle within your home town, as well as up to 1.5 hours away;
- Perform health assessments on live animals and communicate assessment to hotline dispatch (identify species and age class, evaluate body condition, visually locate and describe wounds, assess behavior, etc.);
- Collect valuable data from live AND deceased marine mammals (requires handling deceased animals) and enter information into an online database after each response;
- Transport deceased animals in your own vehicle for disposal, or necropsy;
- Monitor resting seals (depending on situation, for extended periods of time on the beach), relocate seals to quieter/safer locations, or transport animals to triage center or out of state rehabilitation centers as resources allow, and as directed by MMoME staff;
- Act as a knowledgeable, committed, patient, and passionate representative of the organization at all times. Response volunteers frequently interact and communicate with the public!
- Educate the public about marine mammals and the Marine Mammal Protection Act, promote MMoME’s work, marine conservation, safe seal observation guidelines, and assist the public in maintaining an appropriate and legal distance from marine mammals (150 ft);
- Assist staff with triage and medical treatments as necessary;
- Participate in, and assist with outreach events and other non-direct response activities.
In order to become a stranding response volunteer with MMoME, a list of requirements must be met before being considered to attend a training session. ALL of the below criteria are required of stranding response volunteers:
Volunteer Stranding Response 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;
- Able to lift 50 pounds;
- Commit to a minimum of at least 1 full year and be a year-round resident of Maine;
- MUST have reliable transportation and a valid driver’s license;
- MUST be able to fit at least a medium size kennel inside your vehicle;
- MUST live in a coastal town between Portsmouth, NH and Rockport, ME;
- MUST be able to provide Marine Mammals of Maine with your weekly availability via an internet-based google doc form;
- MUST be willing to work in all weather conditions.
- MUST have a cell phone;
- 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 stranding;
- MUST attend an informational session followed by a training session to become active. Then attend subsequent training sessions yearly to remain active.
If interested in joining the Marine Mammals of Maine stranding response team and meet ALL of the above requirements, please complete the Volunteer Interest Form. Once completed, you will be notified of the next steps to be taken, including attending an informational session.
Maine’s dynamic and busy coastline is always changing, and subsequently, MMoME’s response program is always evolving to meet the needs of Maine’s stranded animals. We are also always ensuring that our current response volunteers are fully utilized and prioritized. As a result, MMoME is always re-evaluating the best way to provide fast, efficient, and expert response. New response volunteers are invited to attend a training after the info session depending on current geographic and other needs, or invited to be placed on our response team wait list. We look forward to meeting you at the next info session!