Marine Mammal Care Center is pleased to announce the successful conclusion of our first season offering a limited number of paid Community Internship Opportunities. This pilot program, made possible through grants from the Port of Los Angeles and the Harbor Community Benefit Foundation, is designed to both meet personnel needs for the facility – which continues to face unprecedented animal numbers, taking in nearly 600 patients annually – and to create opportunities for individuals within the harbor communities to gain experience in the field.
The part-time positions were open to individuals 18 or over who reside in the San Pedro, Wilmington and Harbor City areas. Candidates received training in animal care and education skills. Additionally, all interns completed the Hazardous Waste Operations (HAZWOPER) certification, increasing MMCC preparedness for potential oil spill response. As timing would have it, many of the community interns have joined staff and volunteers in supporting marine mammal wildlife recovery efforts, in response to the Refugio Incident in Goleta, CA on 5/19/15.
We’ve always had an active volunteer program, as well as increasing interest in our summer internships. However, the annual caseload continues to rise and we are experiencing the highest, and most critical, numbers arriving during the springtime, a time that has typically been difficult to recruit for. The community internship program, along with added seasonal staffing positions has aided in our ability to address those needs, and also work more closely with people in our local communities.
MMCC would like to thank the Harbor Community Benefit Foundation and the Port of Los Angeles for making possible this fantastic program, and we hope to continue the partnership next season.
David Bard - Operations Director
Marine Mammal Care Center at Fort MacArthur