MERR is on call 24/7 to provide rescue and care for marine mammals and sea turtles that might be ill, injured, entangled or otherwise in need. In addition, we conduct research on those animals that have died so that we can glean information on the animal, the cause of death, more about the species, and ocean health. We contribute this information to Federal, state and local entities, as well as researchers and others in the marine conservation field. MERR conducts education and outreach programs throughout the state on the topic of marine mammal and sea turtle ecology and conservation. We believe that education is the most important key to conservation.

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Celebrate World Oceans DAY with MERR June 6-8

MERR Institute is gearing up for World Oceans Day with a host of activities, film screenings and ways to get involved and help oceanic health.  We have created pages of activities and will host a very special screening of The Adventures of Zack and Molly with its creator Jim Toomey!

Toomey, the award-winning cartoonist and animator, is well-known for his daily strip Sherman's Lagoon and has been actively involved with oceanic issues throughout his career. He will be joined by Education/Outreach Coordinator for ECOGIG Emily Davenport for a special Q & A where they will answer questions submitted from local students. 

Additionally, the site will feature artwork submitted from local students, a chance to sign the World Oceans Day "30 x 30 Petition" and an opportunity to take the "Un-Plastics Pledge."

The site is up, but all links will be live on June 6th, so come on by and celebrate World Oceans Day with MERR!


  • Seals are commonly found on Delaware beaches from November-April

  • Seals are mammals like we are and breathe air.  They need to get out of the water to rest to avoid drowning.  A seal on the beach may be perfectly healthy.

  • If you see a seal, please call MERR immediately at 302-228-5029

  • MERR will send trained experts to assess the seal’s condition and will provide rescue if the seal is deemed in need of veterinary intervention.  If the seal appears healthy, MERR will station volunteers at the scene to monitor the seal and provide members of the public with helpful information

  • Keep a distance of 150’ from the seal (10 bus lengths)

  • Keep dogs on a leash and at a distance of 150’

  • Take photos from 150’

  • Seals are not cold in our climate, even when we are

  • Seals do not need to be fed while they are resting

  • Do not try to return a seal to the water-it may injure them, and cause them to drown if they are in a weakened condition

  • Do not touch a seal-it will frighten the seal, and put people and their pets at risk for disease transmission.  Seals can carry bacteria and viruses that are transmissible to us

  • Seals are protected by Federal law under the Marine Mammal Protection Act.  This act states that it is illegal to harass seals or harm them. Violation of these laws can be punishable with fines and imprisonment.  

  • Seals are a wonderful and natural part of the marine ecosystem.  Thank you for helping to protect them by engaging in responsible wildlife viewing and by calling MERR to report seal sightings.


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MERR Institute, Inc. 801 Pilottown Road | Lewes, DE 19958 | (302) 228-5029 | Email


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