The Seacoast Science Center: Saving the Seals?
At the April 2013 meeting of the Board of the Seacoast Science Center (SSC), the major issues for Board discussion were adoption of a new "elevator pitch" and whether to take on a new responsibility, saving marine mammals. The "elevator pitch" was designed to clarify the SSC's mission statement and make explanation of the SSC easier and more consistent. Marine Mammal Rescue (MMR) would be an entirely new activity for the Center. Marine mammals were protected under federal law. The New England Aquarium had been responsible for evaluating the condition of marine mammals, chiefly seals, that came ashore on New Hampshire beaches, but was not renewing its federal contract as of January, 2014. The SSC was the only organization that could take over. Some SSC personnel had volunteered with seal rescues. Wendy Lull, SSC President, needed unanimous approval from the board before SSC could apply for the federal contract. Board discussion was heated, focused primarily on cost and on mission fit. The case ends late in meeting, without a vote having yet been taken. Students may be asked how they would vote on this new project.