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Double Your Impact for Marine Animal Rescue & Response


On a chilly day this past December, the WDC North America team celebrated the first year of our Marine Animal Rescue and Response (MARR) program with a batch of freshly baked, dolphin-shaped cookies. I was excited - we all were - about the success of our first year, but even more excited about doubling our response region! I can’t believe we are now responsible for over 200 miles of coastline, acting as first responders to marine mammals in distress from Plymouth north toward Boston.

In adding this new area, we are filling a critical gap in coverage. Marine mammals in distress and needing urgent care will get a rapid response that may save their lives. Shortly after announcing this expansion of our response area, I was approached by one of our most dedicated donors who said he wanted to help support our MARR expansion by matching individual donations up to $5,000!

His offer was inspiring, and we reached out to several additional funders. The result? A “Double Your Donation” campaign to support the doubling of our response region! Every dollar that you give will be matched (up to $15,000 in matching funds) making your gift TWICE as impactful. If you make a $50 gift, it will be matched by the generosity of our matching gift donors for a total donation of $100! That’s amazing and will help us secure the extra equipment and train the volunteers we will need to be ready to go.

Make a donation which will be matched!

I have learned so much about whales, dolphins, our oceans, and marine conservation since I started working for WDC in 2014. When we received the federal authorization to respond to marine mammal strandings, I found a whole new section of marine conservation that I knew nothing about. I had no idea it was so complex! There are best practices to follow - protocols for helping the animal in need as quickly as possible, keeping the responders safe, and collecting data for sharing with the national databases - and compliance standards that must be adhered to.

None of those surprised me. What did surprise me was the amount of equipment, the level of expertise, and the involvement of the community that was needed!



The most tangible ingredient for our MARR program is supplies – a response vehicle, personal protective equipment (PPE), medical supplies, freezers, medical devices, technology, and gear to respond in a variety of conditions and locations – plus so much more!

By being fully supplied and organized, our team is always prepared to pack up and go at a moment’s notice to help seals, whales, dolphins, and porpoises in need.

Your ‘doubled’ donation helps to keep our MARR team stocked and ready to go.


WDC’s Stranding Coordinator, Sarah McCormack listens to the heart and lungs during a health assessment.

A crucial ingredient to rescuing and responding to marine mammals is having well-trained, experienced, and knowledgeable staff leading the way. We are able to make informed decisions to ensure the best outcomes possible for the animals we are helping due to the unique and refined skillset of WDC’s MARR team. We are also dedicated to training the next generation of marine scientists by hosting paid interns who train with our stranding coordinator, Sarah.

When you make your matched gift, you are helping us train the next generation of marine scientists.



Just like your bread won’t rise if you don’t have yeast, our MARR program would not be able to operate without involvement from the communities in our response region.

We can only respond if members of the community call our hotline to report live and deceased stranded marine mammals. Town officials, law enforcement, local media, community leaders act as ambassadors to help spread the word what to do if they find a stranded marine mammal and who to call.

Help us build a community to report marine mammals to our hotline.

Thank you for your continued support of WDC and our Marine Animal Rescue and Response program. Please feel free to reach out at any time by calling (888) 699-4253, email [email protected], or DM us on social media.

Warm regards-

Missy Walker, Deputy Director

1 Comment

  1. Pat Reed on 03/16/2023 at 10:19 am

    You guys continue to up your game in such an important mission. Thank you all. Just made my donation.

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