Monterey Bay Aquarium will rehabilitate and raise stranded sea otter pups at
its facilities in Monterey on Cannery Row. There, Monterey Bay Aquarium has facilities such as tanks and veterinary equipment and trained staff to rehabilitate otter pups. The rehabilitated animals will be released in Morro Bay, a protected estuary along the Central Coast in San Luis Obispo County that has an existing population of sea otters.
Monterey Bay Aquarium will raise and release up to three stranded sea otter pups to
Morro Bay using captive female sea otters as surrogate mothers, and will analyze and circulate best practices for raising sea otter pups by surrogacy.
The Monterey Bay Aquarium project to rescue, rehabilitate, and release stranded pups into the wild is exempt from the provisions of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) pursuant to Title 14 California Code of Regulations (CCR) section 15301 (Existing Facilities), because it is a continuation of an ongoing program, which will operate in its existing facility without expansion of existing use. The Monterey Bay Aquarium has operated its sea otter surrogacy program, permitted by USFWS, for over 20 years.