Marine Mammals of Maine (MMOME) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the health, protection, 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 carry out this critical work between Kittery and Rockland, Maine. The organization relies extensively on its trained volunteer team to provide education and outreach to Maine communities, assist with development, fundraising, and provide expert response and assessment to nearly 300 marine mammals and sea turtles on an annual basis.
There are a few different ways to get involved with MMoME’s work! Opportunities range from the critical roles of 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 below volunteer interest form (currently being updated, not all questions pertain to non-response volunteers) to receive information regarding the next info session.
2018 and 2019 Info Session Dates:
November 17 10:00 am-11:30 am
March 24th, 2019: 10:00 am-11:30 am
July 14th, 2019: 10:00 am-11:30 am
November 3rd, 2019: 10:00 am-11:30 am
Marine Mammal Stranding Response Volunteers:
Volunteers who join the marine mammal stranding response team will participate in many aspects of live and dead pinniped (seal) response, data collection, and rescue.
- Provide MMoME with weekly availability via a google document to respond to stranding locations.
- Respond to live and deceased marine mammal and sea turtle strandings based on weekly availability survey. This requires travel to strandings 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 age class and species, evaluate body condition, locate wounds, assess behavior, etc.).
- Collect valuable data from live AND deceased marine mammals and enter information into an online database.
- Monitor resting seals, 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.
- Educate the public about marine mammals and the Marine Mammal Protection Act, promote MMoME, marine conservation, and 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-response activities.
In order to become a stranding response volunteer with MMoME, a list of requirements must be met before attending an informational session, and a training session. ALL of the below criteria are required of stranding response volunteers:
Stranding Response Volunteer 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.
- Ability to lift 50 pounds.
- Minimum commitment of at least 1 full year.
- MUST have reliable transportation and a valid driver’s license.
- MUST be able to fit at least a medium size kennel in your vehicle.
- MUST live in a coastal town between Portsmouth, NH and Rockport, ME.
- MUST attend an informational session and a training session to become active. Then attend subsequent training sessions yearly to remain active.
- MUST be able to provide Marine Mammals of Maine with 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.
In order to ensure our current volunteers are fully utilized and prioritized, MMoME is only recruiting new response volunteers in areas with little, to no coverage.
Currently, MMoME is accepting volunteers from the following towns only:
If you are interested in joining the Marine Mammals of Maine stranding response team and meet ALL of the above requirements, including living in one of the towns listed above, please complete our Volunteer Interest Form. Once completed, you will be notified of the next steps to be taken, including attending an informational session, and then a training session. If you meet the above requirements but do not live in a town currently open to new volunteers, we strongly encourage you to attend an info session, and then you will be put on the waiting list and contacted when a need arises in your town.