We snapped some beautiful photos of this adorable sea lion pup, who we named Julius, on the rocks of Laguna Beach, California. He’s inspired a series of photography prints titled, ‘Operation Julius,’ which will benefit Pacific Marine Mammal Center. The proceeds of products sold will help provide aid for the increase in baby sea lions that have washed up on California’s coast this year.
Julius is one of 3,000 sea lion pups that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has reported stranded on California’s coast this year—that’s 17-times the norm.
This phenomenon is being attributed to the lack of upwelling; the warmer waters are pushing prey further and deeper for foraging moms. Mothers are leaving their rookeries for as long as a week in search of food and many don’t return. This forces hungry pups to venture out on their own, with many washing up on our shores. Almost all of our marine mammal centers are at capacity and the NOAA anticipates this issue will continue next year.
We’ve chosen to donate proceeds from ‘Operation Julius’ to Pacific Marine Mammal Center, a nonprofit that “rescues, rehabilitates and releases marine mammals and inspires ocean stewardship through research, education and collaboration.” Your contribution will help provide fish and and medicine for sick and injured patients and resources for their research and educational programs.
$1 buys 1 lb. of fish
If you see a stranded marine mammal here’s how to report it.