Laguna Beach

Sweet: Pacific Marine Mammal Center's Visitor Yard Reopens

Some 20 pinnipeds are currently under the watchful eye of staffers at the Laguna Beach rehabilitation facility.


What to Know

  • The Laguna Beach-based center's visitor area will reopen, after a temporary closure due to the pandemic, on Feb. 1, 2022
  • Some 20 animals are currently being looked after by the center's staff
  • PMMC cares for injured or ill Pacific harbor seals, California sea lions, and Northern elephant seals (and, more rarely, Northern fur seals)

OCEAN ANIMALS, those splash-about, damp-dwelling denizens, fill us with happiness, stir our sense of wonder, and make us more curious about the world. But there are certain water-loving critters we see more often than others, including those barky, sweet-faced, blubber-rocking pinnipeds, the seals and sea lions we often spy around harbors, marinas, and the beaches of California. Adorable as they are, we don't want to get close; they've got their important day-to-day tasks, and we've got ours, and observing each other from afar is the smart route to take. But there is a place, in Laguna Beach, where humans can observe our pinniped pals from nearby, and learn about the mission of one of California's most venerable animal rescues. It's the...

PACIFIC MARINE MAMMAL CENTER... we're raising a throaty bark over, a pool-laden location that has kindly cared for numerous injured or ill seals and sea lions over the decades. And we do mean "decades," for the outdoor rehabilitation facility marked its 50th anniversary in 2021. A major part of helping these ocean-dwelling beasties is also serving as an educational source for the public, revealing the hazards these mammals regularly face, and how we humans can play a constructive part. That inspiring education takes place in the center's visitor yard, where docents greet marine mammal mavens, introduce them to various in-house patients (you'll admire these flipper-rocking cuties from a distance, of course), and talk about what the center does. And on Feb. 1, 2022? The Pacific Marine Mammal Center visitor yard will reopen, after a temporary closure due to the pandemic.

SOME 20 ANIMALS... are being cared for at the center now. Are you eager to see what's happening before you call upon the inspiring place? There's a live webcam, and a site full of information about the Pacific harbor seals, Northern elephant seals and California sea lions call it home while they rest and recuperate (and, yes, sometimes even a Northern fur seal). Squeal over these sweet seals and sea lions now, either by joining an online event, checking out the webcam, or calling upon the splashy Laguna Beach spot in person.

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