February 28, 2023 by Cathy Stack
“I feel this intense responsibility to help these animals,” Lynda said. “And, really, this is what I was put on this Earth to do.”
Harbor seals are among the most common mammals found along the East Coast, and they face a variety of threats to their well-being, including fishing gear and debris entanglement, illegal feeding, chemical pollutants, and boat and propeller injuries.
Earlier in her career, worked with marine mammal emergency response organizations that eventually closed due to lack of funding. To fill the gap left by these groups, Lynda started her own non-profit organization.
Marine Mammals of Maine started in 2011 and has since provided response and medical care for more than 3,000 mammals. The organization recently moved into a larger facility, which allows greater capacity to care for more seals at a given time.
Lynda’s group operates a 24-hour hotline that responds to calls regarding distressed or deceased marine mammals. Their permit allows them to respond to mammals stranded within 2,500 miles of the coastline, and her team only intervenes if the mammal is in critical condition.
Critically ill mammals are transported to Lynda’s center and nursed back to health by staff who work closely with veterinarians to determine proper treatment. Seals typically require three or more months of intensive care treatment before they are released back into the ocean.
“Any seal that we rescue, the ultimate goal is for that animal to be released back into the wild,” Lynda said.
In addition to mammal rescues, Marine Mammals of Maine conducts important research to learn about marine mammal habitats, health trends and human impacts. Marine mammals can give us clues about the ocean’s health, which ultimately affects human well-being as well.
The organization also provides educational outreach to help promote marine conservation among youth and the local community. In addition, they instruct the public on what to do, and what not to do, when encountering wild species like harbor seals.
The Foundation for A Better Life and PassItOn.com believe that Lynda Doughty is a hero. Her action is a great example of the value of caring. Her compassion and dedication to helping marine mammals is a true inspiration to us all. Please help us honor Lynda by sharing her heartwarming story.
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