The New York Marine Rescue Center (NYMRC), formally the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation, is a rescue and rehabilitation organization that promotes marine conservation. Our mission is to preserve and protect the marine environment through conservation efforts including rescue, rehabilitation, education and research.
As a 501(c)(3) non-profit, we are the primary responders for sick or injured seals, sea turtles, dolphins (cetaceans), porpoises and small toothed whales, and maintain the only permanent pinniped (seals) and sea turtle rehabilitation center in New York State. As the primary organization in New York State authorized to work with these animals by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), we are dedicated to the conservation of these pinnipeds and sea turtles. Our mission is to provide a sustainable response effort for marine mammals and sea turtles stranding throughout New York; operate the only facility in New York permitted to rehabilitate marine mammals and sea turtles; collect sound science to help identify stranding trends, highlight viruses and continue to protect endangered and threatened species; and encourage conservation and stewardship of the marine environmental through scientific research and public educational programs.
The NYMRC has rescued more than 6,000 animals since inception in 1996. Under research efforts, rehabilitated animal release and tracking post-release movement is one of our primary goals. All animals are provided a flipper tag to help identity the animal at future sightings. Post-release movement patterns can be tracked through satellite and radio tags which provides valuable information on the various species as they re-enter the wild as well as supports the success of our rehabilitation efforts. The data obtained assists in furthering our mission of preserving and protecting the marine environment through conservation efforts including education, rehabilitation, and research. In 2020, NYMRC processed 2,247 calls, responding to 114 stranded animals including 41 pinnipeds, 47 sea turtles and provided in-field response to 26 small cetaceans.