Rescue and Stranding Program
The Coastal Wildlife Network (CWN), coordinated by Audubon Nature Institute, serves as the primary response partner for Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) for rehabilitating marine mammals (dolphins, whales, manatees) and sea turtles.
CWN is authorized to rehabilitate sea turtles by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and bottlenose dolphins by NOAA. CWN is the only entity in the state of Louisiana responsible for the rehabilitation of live marine mammals and sea turtles.
CWN is committed to the humane care and treatment of injured, ill, or displaced marine animals. The rescue program is committed to animal rescues and community outreach in our efforts to promote ocean and coastal conservation. CWN is an advocate for outreach/education regarding sea turtle and marine mammal stranding information.
What to do if you spot a marine mammal or sea turtle:
- If you see an injured or sick marine mammal or sea turtle immediately call the CWN stranding hotline at (504) 235-3005
- Be prepared to give the following information:
- Location including coordinates
- Nature of the report
- Contact information
- Pictures (if possible)
- Do not touch or push the animal back into the ocean. This is for your safety and the safety of the animal
- Please be prepared to wait for the Audubon Rescue staff or LDWF response staff to arrive on site
Since 2010, CWN has rehabilitated close to 300 sea turtles with injuries or illness ranging from boat strikes to cold stress related illness. CWN has also rehabilitated 5 dolphins found along the Louisiana coastline.
If you encounter an injured or stranded marine mammal or sea turtle, please call CWN at (504) 235-3005.