PMMC Temporarily Closed to the Public
Dear Friends,Pacific Marine Mammal Center, March 13, 2020, Media Release
The last 48 hours have absolutely been a whirlwind due to the evolving situation surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19). As with any other organization, institution, or business, we here at PMMC have had to make significant changes. Despite all of chaos, the team remains absolutely committed.
Animal Care: Our marine mammal rescue and rehabilitation operations continue to operate around the clock. The need for our Animal Care Program is more critical than ever. If that stopped, the reality is that precious marine mammals would die. And that’s something that we won’t let happen. In fact, we rescued a baby Pacific harbor seal in Dana Point and our very first Northern elephant seal pup of the year in Laguna Beach earlier this morning. If you see a stranded marine mammal please continue to call and report to 949-494-3050.
Education: While we have some temporary precautionary measures in place (described below), our education team is pushing ahead with our online Distance Learning programs that reach schools and Children’s Hospitals across the country. On top of this, our educators continue their planning in making sure our upcoming elementary school-age and teen camps provide the most unique and experiential-based learning experiences of its kind in Orange County.
Research: Our efforts to develop a comprehensive research and diagnostic sample archive from pinnipeds and cetaceans in Southern California are ongoing. This is imperative for collaborative research projects aimed at improving the understanding of marine mammal health and trends in the ocean landscape.
Nonetheless, precautionary measures in response to COVID-19 have been put into place to protect the well-being of our staff, volunteers, visitors, and the greater community. Specifically, we’ve emphasized with our team everyday hygiene practices to protect against bacteria and viruses and implemented stricter policies in place to increase sanitization in and around our work-spaces.
With regard to our community programs, as part of our response plan, all on-site educational field trips scheduled during the month of March have been canceled or postponed. In addition, our visitor yard will close to the public temporarily through the next two weeks. These considerable measures are being put into place following guidance from local and state officials, as well as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The health and safety of our team, patrons, and their families are a top priority during these extraordinary times.
We are continuing to assess the situation almost hourly.
During this time, you can observe our animals in play via our live streaming webcams available on our website. Thank you for your continued support and understanding as we navigate through these historic times.
Chief Executive Officer
Pacific Marine Mammal Center