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May 1, 2024

Celebrating Mother’s Day: Honoring moms of the ocean


As Mother’s Day approaches and we celebrate the incredible mothers in our lives, let’s also take a moment to honor the unsung heroines of the sea — the moms of the ocean. 

Dive into the extraordinary lives of the ocean’s moms and discover the wonders that lie beneath the surface. 


Female orcas give birth to just one calf at a time. The calves remain very close to their mothers for the first two years of their life, learning important hunting and social skills. Even after the calf is ready to take care of itself, their bond remains strong, and the calf stays in its mother’s pod and social groups. Orca grandparents also step in to help moms raise calves. They lead by example and help the young to establish the ecological knowledge that will allow them to thrive in times of stress! 

West Indian manatee moms carry their babies for 12 to 14 months before giving birth and the babies are dependent on their mother’s care for the first two years of their lives. The special bond between a manatee mom and her young is the only long-term association by individual manatees and seems to persist past its juvenile years. It is thought that this relationship helps transfer information about migration routes or feeding hotspots to the next generation.  

Sea otter moms will wrap their pups in kelp to keep them from floating away while they hunt for food and California sea lion mothers use a specialized bark to find their pups in large crowds. 

These are just a few examples of the bond between mother and offspring, but it’s clear it’s a universal language spoken above and beneath the waves. This Mother’s Day, join Oceana in celebrating the moms in our lives, and honoring the moms of the ocean!  


Symbolic Adoption

Explore our special Mother’s Day collection – featuring sea otter moms and their babies – and find the perfect gift for the mom in your life. 

Make a Gift Donation

Celebrate otterly wonderful moms with a gift donation! Choose from any of our exclusive Mother’s Day ecard designs as a simple yet memorable way to celebrate the mom in your life.