An organization charged with rescuing and rehabilitating stranded seals, dolphin, sea turtles and whales is looking for volunteers.

Whale off South Amboy (Facebook)

Brigantine-based Marine Mammal Stranding Center is hosting a Stranding Volunteer Workshop this Saturday at St. Francis Community Center in Brant Beach.

Senior Field Technician Jay Pagel says volunteers help speed their response to stranded animals along New Jersey's 1,800 miles of coastal waterways. "We look for volunteers that live within 10 or 15 minutes of any beach area and we can call on them and they can go out and examine the animal and basically let us know whether or not we need to respond."

He says there are no set volunteer hours and training is provided. "We offer a training program a couple of times a year. It's usually a two to three hour program in which we teach our volunteers what to look for? How to go about handling certain situations? What to do? What not to do?"

Interested volunteers must be at least 18 years old and be able to lift 50 pounds but that's not a requirement.

The workshop takes place on May 18th at the St. Francis Community Center at 4700 Long Beach Blvd, Brant Beach starting at 10 a.m. To sign up for the workshop or get more information contact Sarah Miele, Education Coordinator, at (609) 266-0538

According to their website: "The Marine Mammal Stranding Center is a private non-profit organization based in Brigantine and is the only organization in the State of New Jersey authorized to rescue and rehabilitate stranded marine mammals and sea turtles. Since the Center's founding in 1978, over 4,100 animals (including whales, dolphins, seals & sea turtles) have been handled by the Center."