What to do when you find a stranded animal?
If you see any stranded marine mammal, you should notify your state’s Stranding Network contact. Take careful note of the animal's location and leave detailed information along with a name and phone number where you can be reached. All regions in the United States and many countries have Marine Mammal Stranding Programs. Since marine mammals are protected in the United States and most countries, notifying some person of authority is the best way to ensure that the animal is quickly assisted with minimal harm.
Until help can arrive, be careful of the animal's tail and head; wild animals can be dangerous. Do not try to get the animal back into the water. If alive, stranded animals are commonly sick or injured and need treatment before they can successfully return to sea. If the animal is alive, stay with the animal and try to keep them wet. Using wet towels or splashing water over the animal will help prevent them from getting dry. Make sure their blowholes are not covered or splashed with water; this is what they use to breathe. Try to keep crowds or people away from the animal, because this can cause more stress and harm to them.
Remember that the Marine Mammal Protection Act protects marine mammals from harm, or taking any parts of dead animals.
NMFS National Enforcement Hotline for Violations: 1-800-853-1964
Southeast Region Marine Mammal Stranding Network (including Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands)
NMFS Southeast Marine Mammal Stranding Hotline: 877-433-8299
Georgia Marine Mammal Stranding Hotline: 1-800-241-4113 / 912-269-7587
Georgia Sea Turtle Stranding and Salvage Network Contact: 912-280-6892
NOAA Network Representative
219 Ft. Johnson Rd.
Charleston, SC 29412
One Conservation Way
Brunswick, GA 31520
1-800 2 SAVE ME (1-800-272-8363)
Florida Florida Marine Mammal Stranding Hotline: 888-404-FWCC (3922) Florida Sea Turtle Stranding and Salvage Network Contact: 904-573-3930
South Carolina South Carolina Marine Mammal Stranding Hotline: 800-922-5431 South Carolina Sea Turtle Stranding and Salvage Network Contact: 843-953-9016