Four Seals to be Released this Sunday

April 10th, 2014 by Shannon

Don’t be a “Hermit”…..

Have a little “Hart” and come watch our seals “Trott” down the shoreline.

This Sunday, we’ll be returning 3 healthy harp seals and one feisty grey seal to their ocean home.  All four animals were rescued by our friends at Marine Mammals of Maine and in need of medical attention.  ”Hermit”, “Hart”, “Trott” and “Barnes” were brought to MARC for care and are now ready to return to the wild.  Please join us as we send them on their way.

Date:  Sunday, April 13, 2014
Who?  Hermit, Hart, Trott and Barnes
Time:  12:00 pm (Be there early!)
Blubber Hits the Water at:  ~12:01 pm (Blink and you might miss it)
Location:  Gilbert Place, on Biddeford Pool, Biddeford, Maine (as you enter Gilbert Place, veer to the left for public parking) Get Directions
ATTENTION (Update 4/11/2014):  The bridge on Rt. 208 is under construction and the road is CLOSED.  To get to the seal release, please view the map (“Get Directions”) above and plan to take either Maddox Pond Road, Elizabeth Road OR Fortune’s Rocks Road (all which intersect Route 9) to connect you to Mile Stretch which will lead you to the beach.

Please drive carefully, mind speed limits and be respectful of the neighbors.  Please park only in legal spots or risk ticketing by Biddeford PD.  Thanks!

What to Bring:
  • Cameras
  • Good Vibes
  • Donations always accepted.  Every dollar adds up!
  • We’ve got new merchandise!  Bring a few bucks and walk away with some new MARC-gear.  All proceeds support the animals.


New MARC tees (adult and kids), baseball tees, sweatshirts, H20 bottles and canvas bags!

“The Marine Animal Rehabilitation and Conservation Program at the University of New England’s Marine Science Center is committed to the education of marine students and to the advancement of marine mammal and sea turtle science and conservation through conscientious rehabilitation and ethically-based research practices that lead to the release of individuals and maintenance of healthy populations.  We aim to prepare the next generation of marine scientists for meaningful careers through hands-on learning and the promotion of a culture of marine environmental stewardship.”

“Ship” and “Willard” Release TOMORROW

March 7th, 2014 by Shannon

“Ship” and “Willard” return to sea tomorrow  

Last month, our friends at Marine Mammals of Maine rescued two harp seals in need of medical attention.  ”Ship” was found hiding under a picnic table at Shipwreck Cove in Cape Elizabeth.  He was dehydrated and in need of care for an injured eye.  ”Willard” was found resting at Willard Beach in South Portland.  She was tired, thin and very dehydrated.  Both animals were brought to MARC for care and are now ready to return to the wild.  Please join us as we send them on their way.

Date:  Saturday, March 8, 2014
Who?  Ship and Willard
Time:  4:00 pm (Be there early!)
Blubber Hits the Water at:  ~4:01 pm (Blink and you might miss it)
Location:  Gilbert Place, on Biddeford Pool, Biddeford, Maine (as you enter Gilbert Place, veer to the left for public parking) Get Directions

Please drive carefully, mind speed limits and be respectful of the neighbors.  Please park only in legal spots or risk ticketing by Biddeford PD.  Thanks!

What to Bring:

  • Cameras
  • Good Vibes
  • Donations always accepted.  Every dollar adds up!
  • We’ve got new merchandise!  Bring a few bucks and walk away with some new MARC-gear.  All proceeds support the animals.


New MARC tees (adult and kids), baseball tees, sweatshirts, H20 bottles and canvas bags!

“The Marine Animal Rehabilitation and Conservation Program at the University of New England’s Marine Science Center is committed to the education of marine students and to the advancement of marine mammal and sea turtle science and conservation through conscientious rehabilitation and ethically-based research practices that lead to the release of individuals and maintenance of healthy populations.  We aim to prepare the next generation of marine scientists for meaningful careers through hands-on learning and the promotion of a culture of marine environmental stewardship.”

Charleston Chew to be released tomorrow!

January 23rd, 2014 by Shannon


Charleston Chew, seen above, will be released tomorrow in Biddeford. Photo:  August 2013

Charleston Chew returns to the Sea.  

Back in August, we introduced Charleston Chew, a young female harbor seal that escaped the teeth of a shark and arrived at MARC for care (thanks to our friends at Marine Mammals of Maine).  Five months later, “Charlie” is ready to brave the wild once again.  Please join us tomorrow as we say farewell!

Date:  Friday, January 24, 2014
Who?  Charleston Chew
Time:  12:30 pm (Be there early!)
Blubber Hits the Water at:  ~12:31 pm (Blink and you might miss it)
Location:  Gilbert Place, on Biddeford Pool, Biddeford, Maine (as you enter Gilbert Place, veer to the left for public parking) Get Directions

Please drive carefully, mind speed limits and be respectful of the neighbors.  Please park only in legal spots or risk ticketing by Biddeford PD.  Thanks!

What to Bring:

  • Cameras
  • Good Vibes
  • Donations always accepted.  Every dollar adds up!
  • We’ve got new merchandise!  Bring a few bucks and walk away with some new MARC-gear.  All proceeds support the animals.


New MARC tees (adult and kids), baseball tees, sweatshirts, H20 bottles and canvas bags!

And the Winner is…..

January 13th, 2014 by Shannon

And the 2014 MARC Naming Theme Winner is…….

MAINE ISLANDS!

Earning nearly 20% of the public votes, “Maine Islands” was the clear winner of the 2014 MARC Naming Theme.  We are thrilled to have the chance to learn and share information about Maine’s Islands with each and every animal we help this year.  And with over 3000 Maine islands, we’ll certainly have plenty to choose from.   The website waterfrontpropertiesofMaine.com has a nice brief summary of Maine island history.  They state that:

“Maine’s coast has close to 3000 offshore islands – from small granite ledges to Mount Desert Island which encompasses Acadia National Park. Many of these islands represent the tops of mountains formed before the Ice Ages. Most are uninhabited by humans, but all are natural habitats for small sea life, seals, sea birds, plants and animals. Some have thriving villages serviced by daily ferry service from the mainland. A few have only lighthouses. About 1,200 islands comprise an acre or more; roughly 600 of these, representing 95% of Maine’s total island acreage, are owned by individuals.”

We’ve been really excited to reveal the name of our first patient of 2014.  But first, a let’s take a little walk down memory lane.

Back in 2001, The Marine Animal Rehabilitation Center (MARC) opened its hospital doors on the University of New England campus.  In March 2002, the first animal, an adult male harp seal who stranded in Chatham, Massachusetts was rescued by Cape Cod Stranding Network (CCSN) (now a part of International Fund for Animal Welfare, aka IFAW) and sent to MARC for care by Stranding Coordinator, Kristen Patchett.  He was successfully released several months later after treatment for wounds caused by entanglement in fishing gear.

Jump to the year 2006.  After several years at CCSN, Kristen Patchett was hired here at MARC as the Senior Animal Care Technician, eventually taking on the role of Program Coordinator.  Here at MARC, she helped develop hospital protocols, improve animal care practices and was a great role model and resource for our student and community population.  For nearly 8 years, Kristen made MARC her home and helped the program grow to what we are today.

In November 2013, we learned that Kristen would be returning to her roots, joining the IFAW Marine Mammal Rescue Program (formerly known as CCSN), and returning to her previous love: helping stranded cetaceans (dolphins and whales) and pinnipeds on Cape Cod, Massachusetts.  Kristen’s departure from MARC was very bittersweet, but we are so lucky that we’ll still be connected to her through the marine mammal stranding network.

On January 1, 2014, Kristen called us from her new position at IFAW.  After years of accepting animals into rehabilitation at MARC, she was calling us to see if we could care for a newly stranded seal on the Cape.  The young male harbor seal was severely dehydrated and suffering from respiratory infection.  We offered him a place here at MARC and he is making great strides towards a full recovery.

Because Kristen has been a part of MARC since our opening, we extended her the honor to select the name for the first seal of 2014.  Kristen’s choice is quite fitting to her return to Cape Cod.  We’d like to officially introduce our first seal, “Cape” (Shown above, photo by Sam Burgie)

“Cape” is listed in the Maine Islands registry as an island in Cape Porpoise, Maine.  For more information, visit here.

So Long 2013, “Seal” You in 2014

December 31st, 2013 by Shannon

Cheers to a Successful Past and a Hopeful Future

As we reflect on the past year and look forward to what the next 12 months may bring, we’re delighted to have supporters like you by our side for every step of the way.  During 2013, you helped us provide support to 97 injured, sick and abandoned seals and sea turtles.  You helped us learn from members of our thriving seal populations and give a second chance to sea turtles whose wild populations are in jeopardy.  We were able to provide hands-on learning opportunities to nearly 80 students, community volunteers and interns, who in return provided thousands of hours of life-saving care to our healing patients.  You helped us frolic to save more flippers at our most successful fundraiser since opening our doors in 2001, raising over $19,000 dollars to help more animals in need. One milestone really worth noting – our 1000th patient, “Hubba Bubba” was admitted for care and just a few short weeks later was ready for release. With your support, in total, we successfully returned 49 healthy animals to the wild for a fresh start on life.

The success of the MARC program is built on a foundation of support from our dedicated volunteers and a generous community.  We wish you a healthy, happy and safe New Year.  We can’t wait to see what 2014 has in store.

Consider a year-end donation to help us continue a successful program in 2014.

In 2013, we were proud to admit our 1000th patient for care.  Hubba Bubba, a young grey seal, was successfully returned to the sea.
Lindt, one of dozens of harbor seals given a second chance in 2013.