Now that Spring has arrived, why not consider a visit to the Marine Mammal Stranding Center?
Located on Brigantine Island, across the Brigantine bridge at the Marina in Atlantic City, the Marine Mammal Stranding Center is recovering from its busy winter season. Since the beginning of 2010 the Center has recovered 90 stranded marine mammals!
How does the Center work? Stranding volunteers are on call to help determine which animals need help. When the center receives a call about a stranded animal, volunteers are sent out to determine if the seal is in need of rescue. The volunteers describe the seal’s behavior to the Center’s stranding technicians, and email a photo of the animal.
Once seals are rescued, they are placed in individual isolation tanks with room to swim and rest, and are treated for medical issues. When the staff are sure the animal can catch its own food and is medically sound, it is released back into its natural environment.
Most of this year’s strandings have been seals, but the center also helps cetaceans and turtles as well. Visitors can check out the 1,000 gallon outdoor tank which is maintained by a crew of volunteers throughout the summer.
The Center’s Museum was set up to display marine mammal artifacts for the purpose of public education. Featuring 25 life-sized replicas of marine mammals and fish, all inhabiting New Jersey waters, the museum also houses educational displays that explain the plight of marine animals that ingest ocean debris. In addition there is a display of marine mammal bones, including the jaw bone of a sperm whale, and a gift shop.
This private, non-profit facility will be open from 10 am – 2 pm on Saturdays until further notice. Check their website for updates on their hours.
For complete directions see the Center’s website, or call the office from 9 am – 5 pm: 609) 266-0538.
For a slideshow of photos from the Marine Mammal Stranding Center.
[Photo courtesy of Albinfo]