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IMMS: Bringing gulf life to guests

Photo from IMMS (Facebook)

Are you looking for a fun activity to do with your family or friends? How about a class field trip? Summer camp? Birthday party?  Dolphin greetings? You can find this and so much more at Gulfport’s Institute for Marine Mammal Studies!

The Institute for Marine Mammal Studies (IMMS) brings an inside look at gulf life to residents and visitors of the Gulfport area.

Through IMMS and Ocean Adventures Marine Park, guests can interact and even snorkel with stingrays! They can interact with sea lions and dolphins as well.

IMMS is a non-profit organization that was established in 1984. Their primary purposes are public education, conservation, and research on marine mammals in the wild and under human care.

As the premier stranding organization in the Mississippi-Louisiana-Alabama region of the Gulf Coast, they care for sick and injured marine mammals and sea turtles.

IMMS is passionate about marine mammal rescue and rehabilitation. Since 2010, they have been a member of the Sea Turtle Stranding and Salvage Network. The Gulf of Mexico is home to five of the seven sea turtle species. Three of these species, Kemp’s Ridley, Loggerhead, and Green Sea turtles, are readily found in Mississippi waters. The Mississippi Gulf is an essential habitat for juvenile Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles, the world’s most critically endangered sea turtle.

IMMS has responded to hundreds of sea turtle strandings. An essential part of what they do is responding to non-intentional captures of sea turtles and ensuring they get the care they need.

You can even track a satellite-tagged turtle through their website.

IMMS is genuinely a one-of-a-kind facility that provides educational opportunities and entertainment for all ages while rescuing and rehabilitating marine mammals.

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Written by Meredith Biesinger

Meredith Biesinger is an educator and a professional writer, who writes for several southern publications, such as Mud & Magnolias, Pretty Southern, and OUR MS Home. She's also a published children's author, with a passion for preserving the art of southern story telling. Meredith has an undergraduate degree in English Education and Creative Writing, and a graduate degree in Education Leadership.

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