Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network

Dedicated to the conservation of marine mammals through rescue and rehabilitation, research and education.


The TMMSN is the only Stranding Network in the State of Texas and receives no state funding and receives only limited institutional support in the form of grants.  TMMSN RELIES on the donations of time and funds from generous supporters. There is no other team in the State of Texas with the authority, experience, and ability necessary to care for the marine mammals of the Texas Gulf Coast.

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What is TMMSN?

The Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network (TMMSN) is a non-profit organization created in 1980 to further the understanding and conservation of marine mammals through rescue and rehabilitation, research and education.  The TMMSN consists of seven regions along the Texas coast and Louisiana, which provide a coordinated response to all marine mammal strandings. 

What is a marine mammal stranding?  Under the Marine Mammal Protection Act Section 409.3:

"A stranded animal occurs when the animal comes ashore alive under abnormal conditions, is injured close to shore, or washes ashore dead, whether individually or in a group."

A supportive and informed public is vital to the success of the stranding network.  Without your help, strandings may go unreported, and animals that could be saved may die.  Financial support is also imperative to the TMMSN's growth.  As a non-profit organization, the TMMSN receives no budgeted state or federal funding, existing on contributions from individuals and corporations.

The Texas Stranding Newsletter was created to inform the members and volunteers of the TMMSN about current developments.  Membership with the TMMSN is renewable annually and consists of a yearly subscription to the Texas Stranding Newsletter.  Also, members are encouraged to contribute to the newsletter anytime.

Please help the marine mammals of Texas by donating to the TMMSN.  Your contribution is tax deductible and will aid in the conservation of marine mammals.

What are the TMMSN objectives?

1.  To respond to stranded marine mammals along the Texas coast from the Sabine River to Brownsville, and to provide geographical survey and first response services for marine mammals stranding in Western Louisiana.

2.  To initiate first-aid measures and assist the transfer of live stranded marine mammals to a diagnostic and holding facility.

3.  To perform necropsies and collect selected tissues for morphometric, anatomic, parasitologic, and toxicologic analyses on marine mammals that have died.

4.  To maintain a database of stranded marine mammal events and associated data.

5.  To utilize specimens gathered to support teaching and research in marine mammal conservation.

TMMSN Activities


1. Discussion of marine mammals and demosntration of dolphin anatomy for students.

2. Marine mammal museum exhibit currently housed at the Moody Gardens Aquarium in Galveston, TX.

3. Provision of study materials to support graduate work.

4. Assembly of dolphin skeletons for display in Texas.

5. Whales on Wheels program, dedicated to educating the public, young and old alike on marine mammal conservation issues.


1. Maintenance of stranding records database.

2. Gross and microsocopic studies in anatomy.

3. Aging studies using teeth.

4. Necropsy of animals which have died to determine the cause of death.

5. Tissue analyses for the presence of heavy metals.

6. DNA studies to investigate the degree of relationship between various cetacean groups.