Marine Mammal Center gets new HQ
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, December 2005:
SAUSALITO, Calif.–The Marine Mammal Center on November 10
broke ground for a new $18 million head office and hospital, to open
in 2007 on the site of the aging original facilities.
Handling marine mammal strandings from Mendocino to San Luis
Obispo, the Marine Mammal Center has treated more than 11,000
California sea lions, sea otters, elephant seals, whales,
dolphins, and porpoises since opening at a former Nike missile base
within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, north of San
Francisco, in 1975.
“Retired founder Lloyd Smalley started out using bathtubs,
children’s wading pools, and chicken wire to create makeshift pens,”
recalled San Francisco Chronicle staff writer Jim Doyle. “Volunteers
and staff have worked out of buildings composed of freight containers
that were welded together. The pens are too small for the animals
and not large enough for volunteers to maneuver safely around them.
The water filtration system constantly breaks down.”
“The center has been patched, added to and cobbled together
over 30 years,” Marine Mammal Center executive director B.J. Griffin
told Doyle. “We have learned what works and what doesn’t.”
The Marine Mammal Center also has facilities in Anchor Bay,
Mont-erey, and San Luis Obispo, plus a gift shop and interpretive
center in San Francisco. Together, the five sites host about
100,000 visitors per year.