Update: Beached Sea Lions to Find Shelter

At long last we have some good news to share regarding the sea lion pup crisis. While we have yet to identify the cause of the huge spike in sea lion strandings, the California Wildlife Center, just let us know that they’ve begun construction of an emergency seal rehabilitation facility in the Santa Monica Mountains.

With most of the funding in place, supplies are being delivered and expedited, and the Center hopes to have this temporary shelter up and running within two weeks! At the very least, these animals will receive the care they need while we investigate the causes of their illness. This shelter will be used to house seals, as the sea lions have filled the Marine Mammal Care Center, which normally cares for the seals that typically strand at this time of year.

We thank our partners and supporters who galvanized to fulfill this major effort, such as our friends at the California Community Foundation. Compelled by the news of the strandings, our Development staff reached out to a colleague at CCF to see if one of their donors could provide the funding help needed. Within a work day, a match was found. Science and Policy staff also contacted the Waitt Foundation, which issued a challenge grant that to date has raised $50,000.

The Center still seeks donations to meet their fundraising goal.

While Heal the Bay does not work specifically with wildlife, our work is focused on keeping our oceans – and therefore the animals that live there—healthy. We are proud to be able to call upon our partners within our philanthropic network to help ease the pain of these animals. In the meantime, our staff continues to work to address the many facets of ocean pollution, striving to make real and positive change.


There are many ways to help. Donate items from California Wildlife Center’s Amazon wishlist to help alleviate this crisis.  The center’s first volunteer trainings for marine mammal rehabilitation have been scheduled!  Individuals can sign up to attend one of the orientation sessions below:

  • Saturday, April 20 at 10 a.m.
  • Saturday, April 20 at 3 p.m.
  • Wednesday, April 24 at 6 p.m.

Depending on the response, additional training sessions might be added.  Due to the amount of training and the skill level volunteers will need to develop, those interested in volunteering will need to be available to work at least one 4-6 hour shift every week.  RSVP to Cynthia Reyes.  

You can also donate to The Waitt Foundation challenge grant. Every dollar contributed by the public will be matched one-to-one by the Waitt Foundation and dedicated to the direct and urgent care of stranded sea lion pups.

Also, stay up-to-date via the California Wildlife Center’s Facebook page.