Wednesday, April 24, 2024

CEO Glenn Gray and Dr. Alissa Deming, VP of Conservation Medicine & Science, sat down with me to talk about the Pacific Marine Mammal Center

Today’s show is a little different. If you think you hear strange noises during the show, well they are not actually strange at all. They are seals and sea lions and mostly very young ones. For this week's show, I recorded a remote segment so I could share an authentic experience during my visit to the Pacific Marine Mammal Center in Laguna Beach. Some of you might remember when it was called Friends of the Sea Lions. I had not been there in years and decided to learn more about their history, mission, and current renovations transforming this purpose-driven rehabilitation center for marine mammals.

I hope you enjoy today's show, and remember you are about to hear a lot of seals joining us in the background!

There is no better way to get out of a funk than to put yourself in a situation where you are helping others, and in this case, helping the environment, too. Getting involved with purpose-driven initiatives can be a game changer in your life and the lives of others. When you shift your perspective on how you can make a difference in this world, you not only lift yourself up by using your time and energy for good, but you help others and, in this case, you are addressing an environmental issue. If what you learn today sparks your interest, check out how you can get trained in becoming a volunteer at the Pacific Marine Mammal center. You will be glad you did.

During my visit to the Pacific Marine Mammal Center i learned how the staff rescue, rehabilitate, and release marine mammals; this also inspires ocean stewardship through research, education, and collaboration. This is the only center in Orange County, California, licensed to rescue, rehabilitate, and release marine mammals that strand on local beaches. PMMC is a non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization.

When I first moved here in 2000, I remember shortly thereafter visiting with my young kids. Pacific Marine Mammal Center first began as Friends of the Sea Lion in 1971

PMMC was the first marine mammal rehabilitation facility in California and was established before the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972. They now share the responsibility for marine mammal rehabilitation with six other centers along California’s coastline

What began 53 years ago with a single injured harbor seal, PMMC is now recognized as a premier marine mammal rescue, research, and rehabilitation center. The center welcomes around 50,000 visitors annually from around the world to learn about current rescued animals and observe conservation efforts in action.

They teach more than 36,000 students from local schools how to be better ocean stewards, and their distance-learning programs educate students across the country. Finally, they have a team of more than two hundred volunteers providing approximately $1.2 million dollars of donated time, assisting in rescues, animal care, education, and retail locations.

As their website says, “PMMC runs on passionate people. “Their departments include Animal Care, Education, Development, Volunteer Engagement, Operations, and a compassionate Board of Directors. If interested in joining the team, check our careers page for opportunities or become one of our awesome volunteers! And now they are undergoing a major renovation thanks to support throughout our community, but you will hear more about that later.

And this brings me to my conversation with the CEO Glenn Gray and
Dr. Alissa (A LI-SUH) Deming, VP of Conservation Medicine & Science, who sat down with me recently to share details about the important work this center is doing with regards to the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of marine mammals. They are also currently under construction with an impressive expansion thanks to the late Bob Parker and his foundation. You can learn more about the center right here in Laguna Beach by visiting: Pacific Marine Mammal Center (


Coming up May 8th 9:00am - Tom Seeman's forthcoming book, ANIMALS I WANT TO SEE: A Memoir of Growing Up in the Projects and Defying the Odds

LISTEN “When Tom Seeman told me the story of his childhood, I immediately said that he should write it all down and share it with the world....