The Marine Mammal Center Releases Nine Marine Mammals in Honor of World Oceans Day

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Nine animals were released at Chimney Rock, Point Reyes National Seashore, today in celebration of World Oceans Day. These four sea lions and five elephant seals were rescued and nurtured back to health at The Marine Mammal Center.

“No matter where you live – inland or on the coast – we are all connected to the ocean. The world’s oceans cover more than 70% of the earth’s surface and their health is linked to the health of the entire planet,” said Jeff Boehm, executive director.

Nine animals were released at Chimney Rock, Point Reyes National Seashore, today in celebration of World Oceans Day. These four sea lions and five elephant seals were rescued and nurtured back to health at The Marine Mammal Center.

In December 2008, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution declaring June 8 as World Oceans Day. The concept was first proposed in 1992 at the UN Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro. The official designation of World Oceans Day is an opportunity to raise global awareness of the current challenges faced by the international community in connection with the oceans.

“No matter where you live – inland or on the coast – we are all connected to the ocean. The world’s oceans cover more than 70% of the earth’s surface and their health is linked to the health of the entire planet,” said Jeff Boehm, executive director of The Marine Mammal Center. “This year’s World Oceans Day theme is ‘our oceans: opportunities and challenges’: by seizing opportunities big and small to protect our oceans, we can each make a difference as we strive to protect these tremendous resources for future generations.”

The Center’s work highlights the vital link between our oceans, marine mammals and humans. Marine mammals are sentinels of ocean health and bring important messages about the earth’s major support system. In 2009, the Center admitted more than 1,700 patients, more than any other year since beginning operations in 1975. Many of these patients are suffering from the devastating effects of toxic algal blooms and marine debris found in the oceans and caused by human carelessness.

The Center responds to seals, sea lions and other marine mammals that are in need of rescue along 600 miles of coast between Mendocino and San Luis Obispo Counties. With a team of dedicated staff and over 800 volunteers, the Center provides the medical care needed to get the marine mammals back to the wild again.

About The Marine Mammal Center:
The Marine Mammal Center is a nonprofit veterinary hospital, research and educational center dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of ill and injured marine mammals - primarily elephant seals, harbor seals and California sea lions - and to the study of their health. Since 1975, the Center has been headquartered in the Marin Headlands, within the Golden Gate National Parks and has rescued and treated more than 15,000 marine mammals. The Center’s newly rebuilt headquarters in Sausalito gives visitors the unique opportunity to learn about marine mammals through viewing areas and educational exhibits. The hospital is open to the public daily 10 A.M.-5 P.M. except for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. For more information and to sign up for the Center’s eNewsletter, go to: http://www.marinemammalcenter.org.

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Cheryl Reiss
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