"Loving nature through hiking, backpacking and anything outdoors as a family" is Chasqui Mom's motto. Over the years of enjoying the outdoors with my family we have learned to respect, learn and PROTECT our environment especially wildlife. Therefore, I was very excited when Dawn asked me to participate in "Dawn's Day in the Wildlife" to experience how Dawn is involved in saving wildlife.
The only thing I knew about Dawn saving wildlife was from those super adorable commercials of oil covered ducklings being washed with Dawn and coming out as fluffy as can be, so I was very interested in learning how else Dawn was involved in saving wildlife at The Marine Mammal Center (TMMC) and the International Bird Rescue (IBR). A collection of 11 bloggers were brought to the San Francisco Bay Area from all over the US and Canada to experience a tiny portion of what goes on at these great centers. To say that I was blown away is an understatement...
The California Coast and The Marine Mammal Center
Many of you know I'm truly a California girl and a true California Coast nature lover. My family and I have had the pleasure of viewing wild elephant seals and dolphins along the California Coast.
It is amazing to see wildlife in their natural habitat but unfortunately many of these coastal marine mammals are injured or affected by illnesses caused by human interaction. But it's not always human interaction - the sea lion below was bitten by a shark!
Photo by Susan Goldman
In our visit to the TMMC, we learned how this great organization rescues marine mammals, covering 600 miles of the California Coast, and working with animals ranging from elephants seals, harbor seals and sea lions. It's an enormous amount of effort to bring the marine mammals back to health so they can have a chance in surviving back in the wild.
Photo by Susan Goldman
All this work is done by 45 staff and OVER 1,100 volunteers!! From veterinarians to high school students, all ranges of volunteers come to TMMC to give their time to these beautiful animals. TMMC uses Dawn products to clean cages and all the processing equipment used to make the marine mammal fish-shakes! Yum!
Kath Crawford, Education Volunteer
I had the opportunity to spend some quality time with Kathy Crawford, Education Volunteer and learn about her experiences at TMMC. I learned so much and admired Kathy's countless hours to the TMMC, which I will write about in an upcoming post! Thanks to Kathy many families and children learn how to help the marine mammals.
Unfortunately, due to infectious diseases that can be passed from marine mammals to humans, it was highly recommended for me to not participate in the food preparing and kitchen/cage cleaning process because of my pregnancy.
Photo by Susan Goldman
To read about the cleaning and food process in more detail, please visit A Slob Comes Clean blog.
But I was able to get a quick visit to a few "patients" recovering in their hospital cages...
Sweet, sweet sea lions....
The Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, CA. © David Wakelyrine
TMMC is a located in San Francisco Bay Area, my backyard National Park the Marin Headlands Golden Gate National Recreation Area in Sausalito, California. Did I mention that it's free to visit?!
Sea Lions Released at Point Reyes National Seashore
We had the honor and pleasure of participating in releasing THREE sea lions back into the wild at Chimney Rock, Point Reyes National Seashore. We were told that not all 1,100 volunteers ever see a release, so it was truly special to be able to see and participate in this momentous occasion.
There will be a more in depth post and maybe video of the release, but I was very happy to participate in a small portion of the the release "Apostrophe, Row and Fritters" the sea lions!
"We are FREE!!" Photo by Susan Goldman
Point Reyes National Seashore is one of my favorite Bay Area National Park gems and now that I know and witnessed a sea lion release there, Point Reyes will forever hold a special place in my heart!
Dawn and The International Bird Rescue
During "Dawn's Day in the Wildlife" I had the pleasure of meeting Andrew Harmon, Director of Marketing and Communications of the International Bird Rescue (IBR). I was happy to find out that the IBR has a Bay Area center in Fairfield, California so he invited my family and I for a visit, which I will write about in more depth later in this series.
Andrew Harmon, Speaking about the IBR
A few facts about the IBR:
- There are two centers (bird hospitals) in California: The San Francisco Bay Area and another in the Southern California.
- The IBR saves seabirds and aquatic birds affected by man-made and natural disasters such as oil-spills and marine trash from around the world since 1971.
- From Alaska to Argentina to South Africa, the IBR can send emergency response teams to help when disasters hit these beautiful birds.
- In 1978, IBR founder Alice Berkner discover that Dawn worked best cutting the oil off of birds and since 1988 Dawn began its partnership with IBR.
- The IBR has about 200 volunteers!
As an outdoor loving mom, I enjoy spending time in nature with my family and seeing wildlife in its natural habit. I'm trying to instill the values of taking care of our earth which includes wildlife like the birds at the IBR. Seeing the excitement of my children's faces when we saw the Pelicans at the IBR, will always remind me that it's not just a bird, there is a bigger picture that we sometimes don't see in our daily lives.
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I would like to thank Dawn who provided this sponsored trip. As always these are my true and honest opinions.