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Pacific Marine Mammal Center

 20612 Laguna Canyon Road
 Laguna Beach, CA 92651
[P] (949) 494-3050 x x203
[F] (949) 494-2802
[email protected]
Peter Chang
 Printable 1 Page Summary
 Printable Profile
Organization DBA Pacific Marine Mammal Center
Former Names Friends of the Sea Lion Inc (1971)
Organization received a competitive grant from the community foundation in the past five years Yes
Employer Identification Number 95-3680896 00000


Mission StatementMORE »

The Pacific Marine Mammal Center rescues, rehabilitates and releases marine mammals and inspires ocean stewardship through research, education and collaboration. 

Mission Statement

The Pacific Marine Mammal Center rescues, rehabilitates and releases marine mammals and inspires ocean stewardship through research, education and collaboration. 

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year 2018
Projected Expenses $1,721,643.00
Projected Revenue $1,724,410.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Pinniped Pollution Project (PPP) Education Initiative

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Mission Statement

The Pacific Marine Mammal Center rescues, rehabilitates and releases marine mammals and inspires ocean stewardship through research, education and collaboration. 

Background Statement

All of us at Pacific Marine Mammal Center are very proud of our beginnings.  Pacific Marine Mammal Center (PMMC) began as Friends of the Sea Lion in 1971, was the first marine mammal rehabilitation facility in California and was established prior to the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972.  We now share the responsibility for marine mammal rehabilitation with six other centers along the California’s coastline.

PMMC has provided a valuable public service for Laguna Beach and Orange County for nearly 50 years. Our job is to act as protector and caregiver to marine mammals and to function as a steward of the animals' habitat. PMMC consistently achieves its goal through an efficient animal care program and a broad range of educational programs that inform and encourage the public to participate in protecting the animals that share our coastline, as well as promoting practices that will ensure a healthy ocean environment.

We continue to focus on giving back to the community by providing free of charge programs to local nonprofits and other groups in our community unable to afford to participate in an education program. This provides an equal opportunity for all residents to learn about our marine mammal neighbors and their habitat.  We also continue to collaborate with local environmental organizations in order to further the message of protection and preservation of Laguna Beach’s natural resources. 

Impact Statement

Pacific Marine Mammal Center (PMMC) is the only center in Orange County, California, licensed by the Federal Government to rescue, rehabilitate and release marine mammals that strand on local beaches. The organization continues to offer excellent care to hundreds of seals and sea lions this and every year. Our mission is to rescue, rehabilitate and release marine mammals and inspire ocean stewardship through research, education and collaboration. Our goal is to act as protector and caregiver to marine mammals and to function as a steward of the animals’ habitat. We host over 50,000 visitors at the Laguna Beach facility and involve more than 7,000 youth in our educational programs each year. PMMC believes it is our responsibility as humans to help those that could not otherwise help themselves, to do our part to preserve many of the ocean’s treasured species and help conserve vital environmental resources.

Day to day, the goal and objectives of our Animal Care Program continue to be:

GOAL: To act as a caregiver and

to all marine mammals in need of medical attention.

Objective 1: To provide top quality food, medical supplies and laboratory analysis to each and every animal that enters our facility.

Objective 2: Provide advanced diagnostic and supportive care to each patient to allow for the best chance of recovery possible.

Objective 3: Provide each patient with a disease-free, sanitized habitat that encourages healthy recovery.


Needs Statement

Pacific Marine Mammal Center operates with an annual budget of approximately $1.8 million. It costs approximately $3,500 to treat and rehabilitate every animal we rescue.

PMMC is experiencing distressing conditions in these early months of 2019. Only half way into April, we have 96 rescues (plus 10 dolphin responses) and 67 animals in house. This is double the number compared to this time in 2018. This has been an unusual start to the rescue year, with 27 elephant seals, 4 harbor seals and 2 Guadalupe Fur Seals (NOAA Permit #18786-03), a "threatened" species under the Endangered Species Act that was at one time hunted to near extinction. Just as worrisome, has been the considerable increase in dolphin strandings, which gives us even greater cause for concern.  At this time last year, PMMC had only responded to one stranded dolphin. Already this year, we have responded to 10 dolphin strandings. 

Every dollar we receive has a direct impact on our ability to answer every call for help, every day throughout the year.

CEO Statement

Pacific Marine Mammal Center was the first marine mammal rehabilitation facility in California. The organization was founded to rescue and rehabilitate stranded seals and sea lions, which is still the very core of our mission and work. The momentum of our 2017 successes has already invigorated ongoing improvements in animal care, in our education programs, in our visitor experience, and in our membership and volunteer programs. We continue to our make our mark as a leader in conservation by instituting new and greener ways to conserve our resources (including our water reclamation construction plan that will reduce our dependency on water by 90%), and by teaching conservation methods to visitors and school children.

Board Chair Statement

Other Ways to Donate/Volunteer

Donors can make donations online at Donations can also be made by mailing a check or calling in a donation.  In-kind donations are accepted.  Plus, we are always looking for volunteers to help!

Geographic Area Served

Central Orange County
West Orange County
South Orange County
North Orange County
Pacific Marine Mammal Center serves the entire Orange County area in Southern California, consisting of approximately a 52 mile coastline territory.

Organization Categories

  1. Animal Related - Wildlife Sanctuaries
  2. Animal Related - Wildlife Preservation & Protection
  3. Animal Related - Animal Protection & Welfare



Pinniped Pollution Project (PPP) Education Initiative

The Pinniped Pollution Project is a hands-on marine education program that focuses on the effects of pollution on marine life, and is delivered to 4th and 5th grade students in Orange County. The body of the educational program consists of three sections: pollution sources, effects of pollutants on marine life, and how one person's behavior can make a difference. Connecting children to PMMC's marine mammal patients and why they are being cared for directly motivates them to become environmental stewards. After seeing the consequences of these pollutants on live animals in our care, students become inspired ambassadors for the ocean.

The program was established in 2009 to introduce Orange County 4th and 5th grade students classified as Title I (the highest poverty level with the lowest academic achievement) to the ocean environment. We have been very pleased with the level of interest in the program, and in more recent years we have expanded the program to include 4th and 5th grade students from more schools in the county (with priority and preference still given to Title I schools). Since program inception, nearly 32,000 school children from area schools have participated in the program, many of whom hadn’t before seen the ocean despite living so close to it.

Budget  79,475
Category  Animal-Related, General/Other Marine Animals Preservation & Protection
Population Served General/Unspecified Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
Program Short-Term Success  PPP's success is measured by its ability to increase community awareness of the issues surrounding the health of our oceans.
Program Long-Term Success  At approximately $722.50 per class to deliver, each year we target around 110 classes, with an average of 35 students per class, for nearly 4,000 kids involved in PPP each year.
Program Success Monitored By 

At the conclusion of the program students will:

--Be able to draw a picture of the path street trash takes to the ocean.

--Describe how at least one type of pollution can harm sea life.

--Explain one thing that they can do to eliminate marine pollution.

--Receive pertinent take away information to help remind them of lessons learned at PMMC as well as to help them share this information with friends and family.
Examples of Program Success 

Success of the program is measured by the number of program sessions conducted, the number of students participating, and the outcomes of each session. Prior to the program, participants are required to fill out a pre-test to assess their prior knowledge of the information included in the program. Upon completion of the program students take a post-test containing the same questions. Analysis of pre vs. post test scores illustrates the amount of knowledge gained during the program. Success of the program is based on a minimum of 85% of the students improving their scores.

Teachers are also given forms to evaluate the program and their perceived effectiveness as well as suggestions for improvement. Responses are reviewed in order to increase the effectiveness of the program in the future.

In addition to these indicators, we know that PPP is successful because of the increased interest and commitment to the program from our partner schools. The demand for the program is high because it gives kids an opportunity to experience the animals first-hand, leaving a lasting impression on both the students and their teachers.


CEO/Executive Director Mr. Peter Chang
CEO Term Start July 2018
CEO Email [email protected]
CEO Experience Peter Chang is the Chief Executive Officer at the Pacific Marine Mammal Center. Peter comes to the organization after serving as Executive Director of Child Creativity Lab, an Orange County-based nonprofit focused on fostering problem-solving, critical thinking, and education skills in children. Prior to that, his background was in strategic planning and marketing in Corporate America. Peter served as an appointed member on the Orange County Child Care & Development Planning Council and a board member for the Orange County chapter of the California School-Age Consortium (CalSAC). He graduated with a BS degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Entrepreneurship from the University of Southern California, an MBA in Business Administration from the University of Rochester, and an MPH in Public Health from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
Keith Matassa Jan 2013 July 2018

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
Kirsten Donald Director of Education

Kirsten Donald is a marine mammal scientist whose career started in 1996. Kirsten earned her Master's degree in Marine Mammal Science from University of Wales in Bangor, Wales UK.

Kirsten began her career at Dolphin Research Center, where she served in various capacities including Education and Animal Care and Research. She served as the Director of Education and as the Director for the College of Marine Mammal Professions. Kirsten holds true to a philosophy of ‘experiential education’, the belief that hands-on experience with and around marine mammals and their environment creates a strong connection that results in better stewardship. Kirsten has served on the Education and Population Management Task Force Committees of the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums (AMMPA). She has given presentations at AMMPA Education workshops, National Marine Science Educators’ Association, the Florida Marine Science Education Association conferences, as well as the International Marine Animal Trainer’s Association conference. Kirsten was thrilled to join the PMMC family in 2015. The opportunity to expand the educational mission of the center and to contribute directly to conservation and research efforts keeps her continuously motivated.

Michele Hunter Director of Animal Care

With 27 years of experience in marine mammal rehabilitation, Michele Hunter provides strong leadership for Pacific Marine Mammal Center. Joining the organization in 1989 as an Animal Care volunteer, she progressed from Team Leader to Animal Care Supervisor in 1994. Michele was promoted to Animal Care Director in 1999, overseeing all care provided to the Center’s marine mammal patients.

Michele’s areas of expertise include marine mammal transport, sample collection and lab analysis, preliminary diagnosis and treatment regimen development, wound care management, neonatal delivery and care, as well many other animal health technician skills, animal welfare regulations, and training development for volunteers and supervisors. Based upon her reputation for success in hand-rearing newborn California sea lions, she is often approached for assistance and advice by institutions in need of marine mammal husbandry training. Michele is internationally known and respected for her skills in hand rearing sea lion pups and has assisted the curator at the Blijdorp Zoo in Rotterdam, Netherlands when intervention was needed to successfully hand rear three sea lion pups.

In recent years, Michele has been collaborating with the Caron Laboratory at University of Southern California, providing samples and data for research into harmful algae blooms. Michele is a Co-Author on the publication, Domoic Acid Causes Reproductive Failure in California sea lions featured in Marine Mammal Science.

Keith Matassa Executive Director

Bachelor of Science Degree in Marine Biology, St. Francis College/University of New England (1985)

Keith came to PMMC in early 2013 with 25 years of marine mammal center experience, most recently at the Marine Animal Rehabilitation Center in Biddeford, Maine. Keith had a passion for marine life from childhood. Keith has lived by the ocean much of his life and has a deep understanding of the connection between our oceans and human survival. Keith is a marine biologist with many published papers to his credit. He has been involved in marine mammal organizations for over 30 years and has worked in many capacities including marine animal care and husbandry, educational outreach for the oceans, research on wildlife diseases and fundraising to support the needs of his organization. With his experience and background in biology and animal center management, Keith is an excellent choice to lead PMMC through our continued growth and success

Daniela Moore Director of Development and Marketing

Daniela graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, with a BA degree in Political Science, International Relations.

Daniela possesses over 20 years of fundraising experience in the non-profit industry. She previously worked as a Director for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County and the Stars & Stripes Tournament, interacting with various children’s and military charities. Her strengths are in corporate development, marketing, community outreach, and donor relations.


Award Awarding Organization Year
-- -- --


Affiliation Year
-- --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --



Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 10
Number of Part Time Staff 5
Number of Volunteers 205
Number of Contract Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate % 91%
Staff Professional Development Yes

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: --
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 2
Caucasian: --
Hispanic/Latino: 1
Native American/American Indian: --
Other: --
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 11
Male: 3
Not Specified --

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? --
Organization has Strategic Plan? Under Development
Years Strategic Plan Considers 3
Management Succession Plan Yes
Organization Policies And Procedures --
Business Continuity of Operations Plan No

Risk Management Provisions

Nondiscrimination Policy --
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes

Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually

Government Licenses

Environment and Conservation

Environment and Conservation

Environment and Conservation

CEO Comments


Foundation Comments



Board Chair Jeff Meberg
Board Chair Company Affiliation Independent Environmental Services Professional
Board Chair Term Jan 2019 - Dec 2019
Board Co-Chair Lonnie Seide
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation Attorney, Minyard Morris Family Law, LLP
Board Co-Chair Term Jan 2018 - Dec 2018

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Ed Batlle Vice President, JHA Environmental, Inc. Voting
Carolyn Berndt -- --
Jeff Brumett -- --
Jeffrey Byer PIMCO Voting
John Cunningham Retired Marine Biology Teacher, Co-Founder Voting
Glenn Gray Chief Executive Officer & President, South County Bank Irvine Branch Voting
John Kinney -- Voting
Lisa Locklear -- --
Jeff Meberg Independent Environmental Services Professional --
Angela Miller -- Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Additional Board Members and Affiliations

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 9
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: --
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 3
Male: 7
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 2
Board Meeting Attendance % 100%
Written Board Selection Criteria --
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy --
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 70%
Board Orientation Yes

CEO Comments


Foundation Comments


Standing Committees

  • Board Governance
  • Education
  • Finance
  • Special Events (Golf Tournament, Walk / Run, Silent Auction, Dinner / Gala)


Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Fiscal Year Jan 01, 2018 to Dec 31, 2018
Projected Revenue $1,724,410.00
Projected Expenses $1,721,643.00
Form 990s

2017 Form 990

2016 Form 990

2015 Form 990

2014 Form 990

2013 Form 990

2012 Form 990

Audit Documents

2017 Audit

2016 Audit

2015 Audit

2014 Audit

2013 Audit

IRS Letter of Exemption

IRS Letter of Determination

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Total Revenue $3,093,483 $2,270,064 $6,150,938
Total Expenses $1,876,899 $1,869,995 $1,900,184

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Revenue By Revenue Source
Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$1,135,982 $795,802 $5,488,595
Government Contributions $372,510 $601,066 $376,686
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified $372,510 $601,066 $376,686
Individual Contributions -- -- --
Indirect Public Support -- -- $0
Earned Revenue $206,128 $258,638 $94,577
Investment Income, Net of Losses $1,017,276 $314,341 $-143,945
Membership Dues -- -- $0
Special Events $300,387 $239,017 $256,861
Revenue In-Kind $61,200 $61,200 $61,200
Other -- -- $-178,697

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Expense By Type
Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Program Expense $1,272,363 $1,355,879 $1,351,981
Administration Expense $224,215 $194,783 $228,799
Fundraising Expense $380,321 $319,333 $319,404
Payments to Affiliates -- -- $0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.65 1.21 3.24
Program Expense/Total Expenses 68% 73% 71%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 21% 20% 5%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Total Assets $10,677,716 $9,430,781 $9,025,969
Current Assets $8,967,990 $7,687,917 $7,212,595
Long-Term Liabilities -- -- $0
Current Liabilities $103,219 $72,868 $68,125
Total Net Assets $10,574,497 $9,357,913 $8,957,844

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 86.88 105.50 105.87

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% 0%
Endowment Value --
Spending Policy N/A
Percentage(If selected) --
Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose Physical expansion of our Center to increase infrastructure for our animal care operations, educational programs, and conservation initiatives.
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? Yes

CEO Comments


Foundation Comments

Summary financial data is per the form 990s and consultation with the organization. Foundation/corporate and individual contributions are combined under Foundation and Corporation Contributions. 


Other Documents

No Other Documents currently available.