The Marine Mammal Stranding Center, a private, non-profit organization, started in 1978 with a handful of volunteers and a C.E.T.A. grant, was founded, and is still directed by Robert Schoelkopf.
He and his wife, Sheila Dean, along with a small paid staff and volunteers with a wide variety of talents and professional backgrounds, continue to work with the animals. Originally based in Gardner’s Basin in the inlet section of Atlantic City, the Center is now located on the barrier island of Brigantine, which borders coastal New Jersey’s largest wildlife refuge.
With a permit and authorization from the state and federal governments, the Center has responded to over 4,800 strandings of whales, dolphins, seals and sea turtles that have washed ashore over the years. Even though these governments sanction the handling of strandings in New Jersey only, the Center is occasionally called upon to assist with animals in other states. All funding comes through donations, grants, memberships, and fund-raising efforts. Since there is no permanent funding at this time, your donations and membership dollars are vital. Your support will help the facility to expand and to care for the increasing number of animals. Without your assistance, these creatures have little hope of survival or rehabilitation.
The Blowhole is a publication of the Marine Mammal Stranding Center. It is an excellent source of information on the current year’s strandings, articles by knowledgeable employees, and a calendar of future events. Membership rates for children/seniors, families and businesses or organizations can be found on our membership/donation form. Although donations in excess of these amounts are gladly welcomed and appreciated. Membership includes a subscription to The Blowhole, and discounts on merchandise from the Center’s museum gift shop.
Rescue, Rehabilitate, Release, Preserve
The Marine Mammal Stranding Center is dedicated to responding to marine mammals and sea turtles in distress along all of New Jersey’s waterways and to the rehabilitation of these animals for release back into the wild. In situations where animals may not be released, every effort is made to secure a proper, enriching facility to provide lifetime care. We are further committed to the well-being of marine mammals and to inspire responsible stewardship of our oceans through educational programs and collaboration.