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Marine mammals stranded on beaches: What to do 

A large growth of algae is causing high rates of stranded marine mammals along the Santa Barbara and Ventura coastline, including  Carpinteria. This is due to domoic acid, a neurotoxin produced by phytoplankton. The toxin bioaccumulates in the fish that eat algae contaminated with this toxin, and becomes more toxic as it moves up the food chain to larger animals such as sea lions and dolphins.

IF YOU OBSERVE A LIVE MARINE MAMMAL: Rescue of marine mammals is handled by Channel Islands Marine & Wildlife Institute (CIMWI).

  • Do Not Touch: Do not touch, feed, harass, cover, pour water on, coax/drag/push into the water or out of the surf zone, allow dogs near or take selfies with the animal. These are wild animals and they may bite!
  • Observe animal: Observe the animal from a minimum of 50 feet (length of a school bus). Keep people and pets away from the stranded animal. Note the animal’s physical characteristics and condition.
  • Determine location: Determine the exact location of the animal. Be as accurate as possible and note any landmarks so rescue teams can easily find the animal.
  • Call the marine mammal rescue hotline at (805) 567-1505 or fill out an online Rescue Form. Provide your name, phone number, specific information about the animal and its location

IF YOU OBSERVE A DEAD MARINE MAMMAL: Contact the Carpinteria Public Works Department at (805) 755-.4450 and leave a message with the location of the animal and date and time you called.