Stranding Network

Stranding Network

By Gitte McDonald

As members of the U.S. Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program, our aim is to help rescue sick or injured marine mammals and sea turtles that strand along the Monterey County, California, coastline. We also recover dead stranded marine mammals and sea turtles to document the life history of the animals, investigate the final cause of death, collect tissues for analysis, and collect specimens for anatomical and systematic investigations. Such information may be used to learn more about rare or endangered species, to document possible human involvement such as pollution and net entanglement, and to aid in conservation efforts

If you find an injured, stranded, or deceased marine mammal or turtle please contact:

The Marine Mammal Center if you find an injured or live stranded cetacean (whales, dolphins, porpoises), or pinniped (sea lions, fur seals, and seals), and sea turtles found in Santa Cruz or Monterey County

  • Central California Operations: 831-633-6298
  • Sausalito Headquarters: 415-289-7325

The Monterey Bay Aquarium if you find either a live or deceased sea otter: 831-648-4840

Moss Landing Marine Laboratories if you find a deceased cetacean, pinniped, or sea turtle in Monterey County: 831-771-4422

UC Santa Cruz Long Marine Lab if you find a deceased cetacean, pinniped, or sea turtle in Santa Cruz County: 831-459-2883

Please have the following information ready when calling:
  1. Identification or description of the animal (e.g. color, size, etc)
  2. Number of animals involved
  3. Condition of the animal (alive, dead, or injured)
  4. Exact location of the animal (e.g. where on the beach was it)
  5. Name/s and telephone number/s of people involved
  6. Date and location of your observations

To learn more about monitoring programs for stranded marine life, visit the BeachCOMBERS program page.