Conservation and Research
Marine mammals living in the wild face many challenges on a daily basis. Some of these challenges occur naturally while others are contributed by human interaction and development. Through habitat destruction, harassment, pollution, overfishing, and disease, these animals struggle to survive in their natural habitats.
Ocean Connections functions as a marine mammal education center with the goal of promoting public education on marine mammals and environmental conservation. Our goal is to educate guests on local, national and global levels about conservation issues which effect marine species, habitats and biodiversity. By promoting stewardship and encouraging respect for the natural world, we are committed to educating the public about marine life, environmental protection and conservation while also contributing and taking part in important conservation and research efforts supporting the survival of marine mammals in the wild.
Your contribution plays a vital role in our continued efforts towards important research and conservation and will help allow us to continue to be proactively involved in pinniped conservation around the world.
Recent Research and Conservation Efforts
Punta San Juan Pinniped Research Project
Ocean Connections has joined in partnership with the Chicago Zoological Society in studying the populations of South American sea lions and the endangered South American fur seals in the Punta San Juan (PSJ) Marine Protected Area. Both facilities are committed to the development of veterinary field projects, conservation programs, and education programs.
Unusual Mortality Event (UME) in California
Since January of 2015, over 7,000 California sea lions have stranded off the coast of California in what the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) has deemed an Unusual Mortality Event or UME. This mass marine mammal stranding has left rescue centers flooded with individuals that may or not may be able to return to the ocean. When an animal is deemed non-releasable by the government, accredited zoological institutions like Ocean Connections provide a permanent home for them. Such is the case with our rescued California sea lion, Moana! Moana was found at four months of age trapped in a storm sewer. Starving, dehydrated, and alone she was deemed non-releasable due to her young age and lack of survival skills. This is the third time in our history that we have welcomed a rescued California sea lion into the Ocean Connections family and we plan on continuing to keep our doors open to these stranded animals in order to give them a second chance at life. It is only with your continued support that we are able to do so. Donations made to Ocean Connections can help stranding centers rehabilitate and release marine mammals back into their natural habitat, and when release is not possible, the donations aide in providing the best possible care for these animals at facilities like Ocean Connections.