California Sea Lions – What can programs do to help?

sea lions 1

Recently, I came across the following email written by Elizabeth Bloom from King Harbor Boating Foundation based in Redondo Beach, California as well as the letter below from the NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries. I hope both  will provided you with a better understanding of how you can help if you come across a sick Pinniped. Scientists are working to identify the cause of the sick pups, but in the meantime you may be able to help out.  – Jessica Servis, Reach Initiative Manager

What is happening to our local Pinnipeds, the Cal Sea Lions?

Sadly there are a record number of sick and dying California Sea Lion pups known as Pinnipeds,  this year. They are dying due to malnourishment, dehydration and possible respiratory infections.   “Officials at the  Marine Mammal Care Center in San Pedro say that the number of emaciated and dehydrated young sea lions is at the highest it’s recorded for 20 years for this time of year.”  
The Marine Mammal Rescue centers are working overtime to rescue and rehabilitate as many pups as they can.  Every day, up and down the coast, there are dozens of sea lions needing rescue in our local waters.  Many of us have seen the situation for ourselves and we have asked ourselves, what can we do to help them?  I reached out to our local Marine Mammal Rescue heroes and learned how we can contribute.

Ways To Help California Sea Lions:

Provide Supplies
The Marine Mammal Care Center, San Pedro
Most Urgent needs =  Germicidal Bleach, Laundry detergent – liquid or powder
Small Plastic pools / sandbox (see photo on link) for our new pups to eat in.
Karo light (not reduce sugar) corn syrup & Healthy snack for our volunteers!
Vitamins, animal care items,  office supplies, electrolyte drinks for volunteers etc.
See the full wish-list and order direct from Amazon

The Marine Mammal Care Center, San Pedro:
Pacific Marine Mammal Care Center:
California Wildlife Center:

The Marine Mammal Care Center, San Pedro

Adopt a Sea Lion

How to tell if a pup is sick, “They have loose, rolling skin and their ribs show through their tiny brown bodies. There is a glaze in their large round eyes. When they flop or lay down on the cement dry areas, it’s not the normal lounging that healthy California sea lions typically do for hours on end.  Even their whiskers seem droopy. These pups are sick.

For more information on the sea lion rescue and rehab visit  or

King Harbor Boating Foundation offers a wide array of annual events and educational programs that introduce community residents, businesses and organizations to our ocean waters while promoting safe boating practices and stewardship of our marine environment.


By: Elizabeth Bloom
Program Director
Waterfront Education
King Harbor Boating Foundation


Dear Virgina Institute of Marine Science  Scuttlebutt Members,

Stranded, starving and sickly sea lion pups are showing up by the hundreds on California beaches, miles from their mothers who would normally be nursing their young. The situation is reaching crisis proportions, and keeping a valiant team of experts busy as the California Stranding Network answers the call to rehabilitate rescued pups. We talk with Justin Viezbicke, NOAA Fisheries California Stranding Network coordinator, who gives some insight into what is happening to California sea lions, what the stranding network is doing, and how you can help.

Everyday Action: Report sightings of stranded animals to 1-866-767-6114. Support and donate to the members of the California Stranding Network.

We invite you to watch this informative video and get involved. A new Thank You Ocean Report will be posted approximately every two weeks. You can subscribe to the podcasts in iTunes or on YouTube.



Matt Stout
Chief of Staff/Communications Director,
NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries
Co-Chair, California Thank You Ocean Campaign

Amy Vierra
Deputy Director,
California Ocean Protection Council
Co-Chair, California Thank You Ocean Campaign