Domoic acid crisis affecting marine mammals in Ventura and Santa Barbara

Since August 15th the Channel Islands Marine & Wildlife Institute (CIMWI) volunteer team has responded to hundreds of marine mammals suffering from domoic acid poisoning in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. An event on this scale is unusual for this time of year.

CIMWI, a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization, would greatly benefit from your support financially to give gas money to their volunteers responding to all of these sick animals and to help the organization with their increased costs during this emergency situation. You can also volunteer to help on the front lines with this organization that is doing incredible work. Providing emotional support and understanding CIMWI is doing the best they can to meet this relentless pace each day is also helpful during this crisis.

Domoic acid is a naturally occurring toxin produced during harmful algal bloom events by a certain type of algae- Pseudo-nitzschia australis. This neurotoxin accumulates in shellfish as well small fish like sardines and anchovies. When the sea lions eat the contaminated fish, it can be harmful and even fatal when consumed in sufficient quantities.

CIMWI links: