Steve Jasiecki/Seal resting on the beach.

MARGATE – The Marine Mammal Stranding Center will present an educational workshop about marine mammals 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 8 at the Bloom Pavilion, 101 S. Huntington Ave.

The presentation will share information about the marine mammals and seal turtles that visit the New Jersey shoreline, the work the stranding center does and what you should do if you come across one of these animals on the beach.

When marine mammals come on the shore, whether through injury or normal behavior, the Marine Mammal Stranding Center is alerted. Volunteers go out to evaluate the situation and if a rescue is warranted, they will send a technician to bring the animal back to the stranding center facility in Brigantine.

During winter and spring shore towns see an influx of seals coming to the beaches. This is normal behavior for them; they come to the shore to sleep and take a break from swimming and fishing. People unfamiliar with seeing a seal on the beach often think something is wrong and want to get the seal back into the water. Others gather around the seal to observe and take pictures. This puts the seal on alert and it will not be able to get its needed rest. The seal will get stressed and this can harm the animal.

The Margate Recreation Department and Sustainable Downbeach invited the Marine Mammal Stranding Center to help educate the public to learn about theses animals and the work the stranding center does.

The MMSC is the only rescue facility in New Jersey that responds to the entire 1,800 miles of New Jersey coastline. An informed citizenry can help the MMSC by knowing what to look for and notifying the proper authorities should they come across one of these animals.

To become a volunteer the MMSC offers a separate course that is much more involved and gives greater detail on what to do.  For more information visit their website at https://mmsc.org.

The one-hour workshop is free and open to the public.

For more information contact Sustainable Downbeach at sustainabledownbeach@gmail.com.

Categories: Downbeach