The Institute for Marine Mammal Studies is a non-profit organization that focuses on public education, in-depth research, and the rescue of stranded or injured marine wildlife. They are the premier organization on the Gulf Coast and can rescue, care for, and rehabilitate stranded animals like dolphins or turtles. IMMS frequently rescues stranded, injured sea turtles, medically treats them, and releases them back into the Gulf. Released sea turtles are fitted with satellite trackers and can be tracked on their website.
The Institute is a participant in the National Stranding Network. This national program is administered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Members of the network act as first responders when a marine mammal is reported stranded, sick, or injured. Vets and experts from organizations like IMMS travel to administer medical care and hopefully release the animal back into the wild.
They also take the lead in any dolphin rescues and rehabilitations in the Gulf Coast area. IMMS also provides whale rescues. IMMS has a veterinary hospital that provides medical care to marine animals.
The Institute was founded in 1984 as a not-for-profit research organization. Since its inception, it has worked with organizations like the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, University of Southern Mississippi, Mississippi State, Naval Ocean Systems Center, University of California Berkley, University of Miami, and many others.
IMMS has tours and activities open to the public through their on-site facility, Ocean Adventures Marine Park. Ocean Adventures Marine Park has an educational museum on site. They also have various programs and shows to educate the public and involve the local community in their mission. If you're traveling to the area, one of the best ways to enjoy everything the Mississippi Gulf Coast has to offer is to stay at one of the beach hotels near Institute for Marine Mammal Studies.
The Job Shadow Program is available to students aged 12 and over. This program lets students shadow professional staff members for two hours. They'll get a look at the day in the life of a vet, educator, aquarist, and animal care staff. Your student will also get to take part in a dolphin meet and greet.
If you have an aspiring vet or marine biologist in your family, they will love the mini camps available through IMMS and Ocean Adventures Marine Park. These camps are one to three days long and customizable. Your young biologists might learn about shark dissection or species identification. They are sure to learn more about animal conservation, dolphins, and sea turtles regardless.
If you are in town for a week or more, your kids will love attending summer camp with IMMS and Ocean Adventures Marine Park. This week-long day camp will immerse your student in the day-to-day life of a marine scientist. Students learn about all the animals that reside at the park. They'll get an in-depth look at sea turtles, dolphins, stingrays, tropical birds, and sea lions. They'll learn about animal biology and meet and greet each animal.
IMMS runs the Ocean Adventures Marine Park. All proceeds benefit IMMS conservation and rescue programs. The family will be delighted by the dolphin shows, sea lion shows, and tropical bird shows at the park. In the Discovery Center, get your hands wet in the touch pools. You can meet stingrays, fish, sea horses, and starfish. You'll be entranced by the vast aquariums filled with sea life. If you are intrigued by reptiles, attend an alligator talk or a snake talk.
For a once in a lifetime experience, book an encounter. You can get a sea lion kiss, meet dolphins, or snorkel with stingrays. It's a great way to learn more about these magnificent and other-worldly creatures. If you're looking for beach hotels near Institute for Marine Mammal Studies, The Inn at Long Beach is the perfect choice!