MMCC has been rehabilitating seals and sea lions rescued from the LA County coastline since 1992. We operate under a permit from the National Marine Fisheries Service, to implement the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972.
For nearly 25 years, MMCC was managed by the Foundation for Marine Animal Husbandry, a Florida 501(c)(3) organization, with major financial and development support from MAR3INE, a California 501(c)(3) organization. Supporters had to donate to one of these two organizations in order to support the mission of MMCC.
September 2016 ushered in a new chapter in the life of MMCC when a new, California 501(c)(3) organization named Marine Mammal Care Center Los Angeles assumed management of the rehabilitation hospital and education program. Now, supporters can donate directly to MMCC Los Angeles; it has a local board of directors and onsite management. In July 2017 a fundraising and development office was opened in downtown Los Angeles.
MMCC Los Angeles is the only rehabilitation hospital in Los Angeles for seals and sea lions stranded on beaches from Malibu to Seal Beach due to illness, injury or malnutrition. MMCC primarily treats and releases rescued California sea lions, northern elephant seals, Pacific harbor seals, and northern fur seals. The rehabilitation hospital is located in San Pedro near the Port of Los Angeles, on property owned by Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). The fundraising and development office is located in downtown Los Angeles.
Our staff and volunteers care for a variety of patients including: California Sea Lions, Northern Elephant Seals, Pacific Harbor Seals, Northern Fur Seals, and Guadalupe Fur Seals. This work is authorized by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS).
In addition to providing treatment for LA County’s stranded marine mammals, MMCC has a multi-faceted educational program. The Center for Marine Studies (CFMS) operating in conjunction with LAUSD, educates students, teachers, and the general public about marine science and the animals cared for at our facility. Together, MMCC and CFMS increase public awareness on various environmental issues and the importance of ocean conservation through outreach activities and educational tours.
MMCC also collaborates with scientists from around the country to conduct non-invasive research. Currently the only year round marine mammal rehabilitation facility in Los Angeles County, MMCC is one of the busiest in the country, on average admitting 500 patients per year.
MMCC is part of the Oiled Wildlife Care Network (OWCN), along with 36 other wildlife rehabilitation organizations statewide and is one of the primary care facilities. In the case of an oil spill within the Los Angeles or Ventura County area, MMCC would be involved in the wildlife response by stabilizing, washing, and caring for any marine mammal exposed to petroleum products in their environment, working under the Office of Spill Prevention and Response (OSPR).