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Pacific Grove coastline

Follow these steps to become a volunteer

volunteers holding boards walk toward a sea lion needing rescue
photo by Brian Simuro © The Marine Mammal Center
  1. Add your name to the volunteer interest list to receive an application when volunteer spots are available. (Please note there may be a waiting period of several months before you receive an application and only adults 18+ who are no longer in high school are eligible to apply.)

  2. Complete an application, phone or in-person interview and background check.

  3. Attend a New Volunteer Onboarding Training.

Volunteers in Monterey Bay and Santa Cruz counties support all aspects of marine mammal rehabilitation from rescue to rehabilitation to release.

Duties include rescuing and transporting* injured and sick marine mammals, preparing food and feeding patients, cleaning pens and equipment, providing public outreach and education programs, and assisting with releases.

*Volunteers must be at least 21 years old, have a valid driver’s license and clear a Motor Vehicle Report to drive on behalf of the Center.

Time Commitment:

  • Commit to the same shift every week for a minimum of six months.
  • Shift times vary depending on season and number of patients onsite.
  • Typical shifts run from 10am to 6pm.

Have Questions?

Contact us at

Monterey Bay, Santa Cruz, central California, volunteer opportunities, animal care, animal husbandry, outreach, marine animal rescue, sea animal rescue, wildlife rescue