The Marine Mammal Center Receives Disney Conservation Grant to Help Save the Most Endangered Seal in the U.S.

September 25, 2013

The $25,000 grant will support the Center's conservation efforts to help the Hawaiian monk seal.

Sausalito, CA (PRWEB) September 25, 2013

The Marine Mammal Center has been awarded a $25,000 grant from the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund (DWCF) in recognition of The Marine Mammal Center’s efforts to save the Hawaiian monk seal species from extinction. This grant will help fund The Marine Mammal Center’s rescue and rehabilitation efforts to give sick, injured and orphaned Hawaiian monk seals a second chance at life. The grant will support The Marine Mammal Center’s scientific research and community education efforts, both of which are vital to the long-term conservation plan for this critically endangered animal, as well as direct animal care supplies.

“With only 1,100 Hawaiian monk seals left in the world, and a population declining at a rate of 4 percent each year, we must do everything we can to save this species,” explained Dr. Jeff Boehm, executive director at The Marine Mammal Center. “Building a dedicated rehabilitation hospital in Hawai’i and working closely with the local community to inspire monk seal conservation, is a vital part of that effort. The Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund provides essential funds at a critical time and we are incredibly grateful for their generous support.”

The Marine Mammal Center’s 38 years of substantial marine mammal rehabilitation experience, along with more than 10 years of involvement in the recovery efforts of Hawaiian monk seals and contributions to scientific research projects about monk seal health, ideally positions it to lead the charge in the care and conservation efforts of this critically endangered seal.

As part of these conservation efforts, in 2012, the Center began building the first state-of-the-art veterinary hospital and education center dedicated to the care of Hawaiian monk seals. The hospital, located in Kailua-Kona, Hawai’i, will help increase the survival of sick, injured, or starving Hawaiian monk seals through medical treatment, surgical intervention, and feeding. On track to be complete by the end of 2013, the new Hawaiian monk seal health care facility will also act as a hub for local education and outreach about the species.

Increased survival of treated Hawaiian monk seals and what is hoped to be a decrease in mortality rates will be the primary parameter used to determine the impact of this conservation program. A critical component to the program’s success and to saving the species is education. This includes:

  •     Creating and implementing an education and outreach program about the Hawaiian monk seal for schoolchildren and the public, based at the Kona facility, and disseminated throughout the Hawaiian Islands.
  •     Animal husbandry and marine science training and volunteer opportunities for high school students and members of the community at the Kona facility.
  •     Ongoing partnerships with community organizations, local businesses, and the media.

You can learn more about The Marine Mammal Center’s efforts to save Hawaiian monk seals at: http://www.marinemammalcenter.org/monkseal

The Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund works to protect species and habitats, and connect kids to nature to help develop lifelong conservation values. Since its founding in 1995, DWCF has supported more than 1,000 conservation programs in 112 countries.

For information on Disney’s commitment to conserve nature visit http://www.disney.com/conservation.    

About The Marine Mammal Center:

The Marine Mammal Center is a nonprofit hospital, research and education center dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of sick, injured and orphaned marine mammals, and to the study of their health. Their mission is to expand knowledge about marine mammals and to inspire their global conservation.

Started by three animal advocates in 1975 equipped with little more than bath tubs, kiddie pools and a passion to do what’s right, The Marine Mammal Center has proudly grown into the largest marine mammal rehabilitation facility of its kind in the world. Since those humble beginnings, the Center has rescued over 18,000 animals from along 600 miles of California coastline and Hawaii, giving thousands of animals a second chance at life in the wild. Each year, The Marine Mammal Center educates over 100,000 children and adults about marine mammals and their important role as indicators of ocean and human health – a connection we all share.

The Marine Mammal Center is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization which relies on 85% of its funding from individual donations.

Get Involved!

You can see the Centers life-saving work in action by visiting their hospital and headquarters in the Marin Headlands, Sausalito, CA. The Center is open daily 10am – 5pm (except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day) and admission is FREE. http://www.MarineMammalCenter.org.

For the original version on PRWeb visit: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/9/prweb11154207.htm

Source: prweb

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