Volunteers in action!Do you want to make a difference? If you share a love and concern for our local marine mammals, why not become a member of the WMMSN team of volunteers? Use this page to find one of the many ways you can help.For more information about the Whatcom Marine Mammal Stranding network & to register for our next training, contact Carole, our Volunteer Director, at 360-389-7011 or email to: cmurray.wmmsn@gmail.com. We currently have openings for volunteer positions including:

STRANDING RESPONSE TEAM MEMBER When a call comes in that a marine mammal is stranded, it is the Stranding Response Team that goes out to investigate. Their job is to:

  • Find the mammal in distress.
  • Establish a perimeter to prevent others from coming too close (to protect the animal and the people)
  • Collect data.
  • Consult with senior members of the organization.
  • Take action as instructed.
  • Fill out the appropriate paperwork.

To become a member of this team, you must have internet access and a phone number where you can be reached 24/7 & you must complete Stranding Response Volunteer Responder training to learn:

  • How to determine if an animal is in distress and what to do
  • Species identification of marine mammals common to this area
  • How to recognize and document various types of injuries and illnesses
  • What to do when inappropriate human interaction has occurred.
  • How to safely work in bio-hazardous conditions.
  • Determining and establishing a safe perimeter around marine mammals
  • Data and sample collection
  • Laws, regulations, and procedures to be followed when working with stranded or deceased marine mammals
  • What paperwork is required and how to fill it out.
  • Educating the public on marine mammal issues and safety
  • Transport and care of injured or distressed marine mammal

The training costs $35 and volunteers who complete this training will receive:

  • A certificate of completion
  • A binder with all necessary materials
  • A name tag identifying you as an “official responder”


Education is a big part of what we do, both for ourselves and the public in general. We need volunteers who will:

  • Research and understand marine mammals.
  • Design and develop educational materials.
  • Contact schools and other groups and encourage them to let us provide educational opportunities.Be a presenter, going into the schools and other venues.
  • Conduct educational events, such as tide walks and other field activities.
  • Put up signs, post notices, distribute press releases, hand out pamphlets.

No single person has the skills to do all this, but as a team we will be able to accomplish everything listed. We CAN make a difference and help people better understand the needs and concerns of our local marine mammals.

The Stranding Response Team training is not required for the Education and Outreach volunteers, but it would help.

GENERAL SUPPORT  There are many other ways you can help. Here are a few:

  • Help organize events
  • Assist with filing and general bookkeeping
  • Fundraising
  • Grant writing
  • Financial contributions

And we are open to hearing your ideas on how we can better serve both the community and our local marine environment.