How Can I Help?
There are a limited number of volunteer positions for the Stranding Network, but you can still contribute by knowing the proper procedures for a stranding or, if you like, by donating to the SCMMSN.
What to do if there’s a stranding:
- Safety first! Do not touch or handle the animal. Stranded animals are often sick, and diseases can be transmitted to humans. Stranding network personnel are trained to handle stranded animals, and even then always wear protective gloves and clothing. If a live animal is in the surf, your instinct may be to assist it, but this is a particularly dangerous situation, as you are in danger of the animal rolling over on you or even of being bitten. Observe, but do not touch.
- Call for help. You can report strandings to the SCDNR Wildlife Hotline (1-800-922-5431). If you don’t have that number, you can contact the local police or beach patrol. If you can, provide information on the species (if known), size, and condition of the animal, as well as the location of the stranding and the nearest beach access.
- If you have a camera and it is safe, take pictures of the animal, particularly any injuries or entanglements. Again, do not touch or manipulate the animal when taking these pictures.
- If it is a live stranding, do NOT push the animal back into the water. It has stranded for a reason, and pushing it back out just means that it will strand again shortly further down the beach. If it alive and safely on the beach, you can try to keep it wet and shaded from the sun by placing wet towels over it.
Your gift will help the South Carolina Marine Mammal Stranding Network continue to respond to strandings and help marine mammal populations in the Southeast.
We rely on grants and donations to maintain our day-to-day functions. Funding is required to support items such as personnel, transportation costs, necropsy supplies and chemicals, and tissue analysis. Any donation you may choose to give is greatly appreciated.