VIDEO: Marine Mammal Stranding Center Needs Funding

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BRIGANTINE - The Marine Mammal Stranding Center has a large crack in their foundation causing potential problems for the pool and building. The center is looking for ways to raise money to help cover the costs.
“We’ve been around for about 35 years, we handle the entire state of New Jersey and any marine animal or sea turtle that gets stranded on the beaches, we pick them up,” said Bob Schoelkopf, Founding Director of Marine Mammal Stranding Center.
This center helps sea creatures that wash up along the shore find a home or nurse them back to health if they are hurt. They recently found a hollow area under their building's foundation, which after some investigating, uncovered a crack in the foundation.
“The pool area is our rehab facility and after the animal’s initial treatment, they come in taken care of for medical needs, they then are placed in the pool where they can exercise, and build their strength up before we turn them loose," said Schoelkopf. "Unfortunately, the pool has dropped, the whole foundation has cracked and dropped quite a bit, a couple inches. We’re concerned with that because if it drops anymore, it’s going to damage the pool and we won’t be able to use it at all this winter.”
Schoelkopf says plenty of animals have lived in that pool and more could be coming to shore in as little as two months. With a strict timeline of getting the job done, one of their board members offered another way to help raise awareness.
"One of our board members, Jack Kelly, has a moving company, he has a fleet of 18 trucks that travel all over the country," said Schoelkopf. "We designed a logo that shows one of our seals that we released. Anywhere that truck goes in the United States, people can actually go on our website and adopt a seal for $25 and that money goes directly to us to help pay for the cost and feeding and medication for the animals.” Bob Schoelkopf.
The estimated damage is around $10,000 and the Marine Mammal Stranding Center is looking for more ways to help raise money to pay off what the insurance can’t, through their gift shop and outside donations.
“We rely on donations, we’re not funded by the State of Federal Governments, so any donations are really appreciated and we really need it," said Schoelkopf. "We need to get the job done quickly. So, right now, if we don’t get a positive answer from the insurance company, we have to foot the entire bill.”
For more information on the Marine Mammal Stranding Center, visit their website at http://mmsc.org.
To learn more about adopting a seal of your own and other donations visit, http://mmsc.org/get-involved/adopt-a-seal.

SNJ Today is a Southern New Jersey news and information source based in Millville, New Jersey that is dedicated to providing current stories related specifically to South Jersey.