“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!

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.

Sea Turtles Arrive at MARC

December 9th, 2013 by Shannon

Sea Turtles Arrive for Care

One of the most important aspects of the work we do at MARC is provide care to sea turtles.  When you think of New England, sea turtles aren’t typically an animal that comes to mind.  But sea turtles are a huge part of marine animal rehabilitation efforts in the New England area.  Sea turtles are reptiles that enjoy warm water temperature, in fact, they rely on warm water temperatures to maintain proper bodily functions, since as reptiles, they do not generate their own heat.  Sea turtles naturally enjoy the warm summer waters of the mid-atlantic and northeast US and some even make their way into Cape Cod Bay for summer feeding.  As fall comes around and the temperatures cool, many of the turtles become trapped by the cold temperatures too quickly to return to the warmer waters.  As a result the turtles become hypothermic – the condition is known as “cold-stunning”.  The turtles may float ashore with reduced heart rate, decreased circulation, extreme lethargy, shock, and pneumonia.  In some cases the less fortunate turtles are found dead.

Sea turtle rehabilitation in New England is spearheaded by Mass Audubon Society and New England Aquarium - who work in collaboration to rescue, stabilize and rehabilitate the turtles in their critical condition. During any given fall, between 50 and 300 turtles may wash ashore in a matter of weeks.  As the New England Aquarium rescue program becomes overloaded with turtles, they may transfer groups of turtles for secondary, long-term rehabilitation.  This is where MARC steps in.  

MARC Students and Volunteers Prepare to Unload Turtles 

At MARC, we have an entire enclosure dedicated to the care of these magnificent animals.  Sea turtle species worldwide are all considered endangered or threatened populations, so we are thrilled to provide a home to the animals as they heal and provide superb medical care to prepare them for their return to the wild.  So far this year, we have assisted by taking in four large loggerhead sea turtles.  These turtles, ranging from 30 to 100 pounds each, area all happily swimming in their pools.  Their pools are heated to an optimal “turtle happiness temperature” – of 75 degrees Fahrenheit.  This is a nice, warm temperature for the turtles to recuperate.  The turtles are all receiving care from our staff and volunteers, which includes feed, medicating and performing diagnostics, like blood work and x-rays.  As we get to know these sea turtles better in the coming weeks, we’ll provide more insight into their recovery.


MARC Veterinarian, Dr. Michele Sims, measures the heart rate of sea turtle “Andes” using a Doppler


MARC Technician, Asheley, takes a blood sample from “Maple”


MARC Technician, Shannon, and student, Nate, place “Andes” into pool for first swim.


“Andes” takes a first swim.

Every donation counts and every dollar goes a long way to helping these animals.  Consider a contribution and help save a turtle’s life today.

“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.”

MARC’s BIGGEST Seal Release EVER

October 24th, 2013 by Shannon

Join us this Saturday, October 26, 2013 as we make history at MARC.  Never before have eight (yep, that’s right, 8!!!) UNE/MARC seals been ready to head back to sea together.  It will be a moment so sweet, you’re sure to get a toothache.

*************************************************************************************************************

These eight seals are scheduled to be released Saturday October 26, 2013

Date:  Saturday, October 26, 2013
Who?  Dots, Sugar Baby, Bananarama, S
lo Poke, Jolly Rancher, Marshmallow, M&M, Blackjack*
(*all subject to change)
Time:  11:30 am (Be there early!)
Blubber Hits the Water at:  ~11:35 am (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.  Thanks!

What to Bring:

  • Cameras
  • Good Vibes
  • Donations always accepted.  Every dollar adds up!

About the seals….

“Dots” Stranded at: Harrington, Maine  5/2/2013
His Story:  Maternally-dependent Pup, rescued by COA’s Allied Whale; alone for several days; dehydration; emaciation; ingested rocks/sand on beach (in what we think were attempts to nurse when he was hungry).

“Sugar Baby”  Stranded at:  Cousin’s Island, Maine  5/28/2013
Her Story:  Brought to MARC by Marine Mammals of Maine when her mother couldn’t be found.  Treated for ear infection and eye rupture.

“Bananarama”  Stranded at:  Georgetown, Maine  5/28/2013
His Story:   Brought to MARC by Marine Mammals of Maine when his mother couldn’t be found.  Given nutritional support and treated for ear infection.

“Slo Poke”  Stranded at:  North Beach, Hampton, New Hampshire on 6/28/2013
His Story:  Brought to us by New England Aquarium when he was found with a large injury to his head and neck.

“Jolly Rancher”  Stranded at:  York, Maine on 7/12/2013
Her Story:  She was rescued by Marine Mammals of Maine when she just couldn’t seem to figure out life after mom left.  Like many weanlings, she was underweight with some minor infections.  She was treated for ear infection as well.

“Marshmallow”  Stranded at:  Marshfield, Mass on 7/31/2013
Her Story:  The wrong place at the wrong time.  This little girl was rescued by New England Aquarium after being hit by a boat.  She suffered some large wounds and broken bones, but is on the mend.

“M&M”  Stranded at:  Fortune’s Rocks, Biddeford, Maine on 8/7/2013
His Story:   He was rescued by Marine Mammals of Maine when he just couldn’t seem to catch a break.  Like many weanlings, he was underweight with some minor infections.   We’re hoping he does well on his second chance in the wild.

“Blackjack”  Stranded at:  Bristol, Maine on 10/4/2013
His Story:  The third of three hooded seals treated at MARC since August, Blackjack, like the others was visiting Maine at an unusual time of year (winter is more normal).  He arrived bald, underweight and dehydrated.  We’ve fixed him up and he’s ready to head back to the arctic.