Winner: SAIC - Saving the California Sea Lions
For more than two years, thousands of starving wild sea lion pups have washed up on beaches in Southern California, mainly due to climate change. But in 2015, a record number of sea lions were found stranded on the coast. More than 3,000 stranded sea lion pups were picked up by rescue networks in the region.
This crisis has left stranding centers overwhelmed. Researchers believe the culprit may be a combination of factors including decreased numbers of nutrient-rich fish, an increasing sea lion population, and rising ocean temperatures.
Through discussions with the National Marine Mammal Foundation (NMMF) – an SAIC industry partner – as well as media coverage surrounding the sea lion issue, SAIC recognized that the crisis was rapidly escalating.
In response to this crisis and during the worst recorded month (March/April 2015) of the crisis with more than 1,000 sea lion pups washing up on shore, SAIC's marine mammal staff committed to help save the sea lion pups. SAIC donated more than 1,000 hours of marine mammal specialist volunteer services hours to the National Marine Mammal Foundation (NMMF).
SAIC and its marine mammal specialists coordinated with the NMMF to provide personnel to stranding centers to help facilitate the care and feeding of the sea lions, support the medical needs of the pups within the abilities of the personnel, and contribute to the reintroduction of the rehabilitated animals back into the wild.
While the number of sea lion pups washing up on shore is still rising, and not all rescued pups survive, there is still a great success story in this effort. Due to the passion and skill of marine mammal specialists and employee volunteers, hundreds of pups have been saved and released back into the wild. SAIC’s return on investment is further measured by the awareness and education that SAIC has provided through this effort to its 15,000 employees, as well as its shareholders and communities.
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