Cape Cod is a stranding hot spot. Each year, up to 56 live seals, 98 live dolphins, and 144 live sea turtles strand on our beaches, sick, injured, and in need of medical care.
In 1995, a group of visionaries gathered to address the significant environmental need of a hospital to care for these stranded animals, many of whom are endangered and all of whom are federally-protected species. And thus, the National Marine Life Center was born.
It is an independent, non-profit 501(c)(3) marine animal hospital and science and education center. Our mission is to rehabilitate and release stranded marine mammals and sea turtles in order to advance science and education in marine wildlife health and conservation.
Mission Statement: The National Marine Life Center rehabilitates and releases stranded marine mammals and sea turtles in order to advance science and education in marine wildlife health and conservation.
Vision Statement: The vision of the National Marine Life Center is to be a world leader in marine wildlife rehabilitation, conservation science, and STEM education.
Values Statement: The Trustees, Staff, and Volunteers of the National Marine Life Center believe in humane care for stranded marine animals, thoughtful science that improves our understanding of wildlife health, and quality education programs that promote a conservation ethic. We carry out our work with respect for each other, our supporters, our partner organizations, our community, and the environment.
The National Marine Life Center’s Marine Animal Discovery Center and Gift Shop is open from Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day, 10-5 daily, then weekends through Columbus Day. We’re also open select days throughout the fall, winter, and spring (Open Houses, February and April School Vacation Weeks).
An educational experience about helping sea life on Cape Cod, the Marine Animal Discovery Center features educational displays, specimens, and information about marine animals, strandings, rehabilitation, marine science, and ocean conservation.
NMLC’s Gift Shop features a unique selection of local art, jewelry, educational toys & games, eco-friendly, and fair trade items with a marine theme. Shop for a good cause! All proceeds benefit NMLC’s marine animal rehabilitation, science, and education programs.
The public is welcome to visit the Discovery Center and Gift Shop starting June 20th, 2022. The Discovery Center will be open Sunday – Friday every week from 10:00 am – 1:00 pm then 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm; there is a $3 admission fee for those 2 years and older. These days and hours are subject to change, based on staffing availability.
The Discovery Center features specimens and exhibits featuring information about the species we rehabilitate, the science our work contributes to and conservation efforts for these species. They also have interactive exhibits for kids of all ages! This educational area will give you a look at the work we do to care for stranded marine animals and their natural history. Please be aware, that this is not a tour of the animal hospital.
For more information, click here.