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- FOUNDED IN 1985 -

We protect & preserve wildlife through education, community outreach, animal rescue, and medical treatment of wild & domestic species.


Pacific Wildlife Project (PWP) is an organization of community volunteers who:

  • Rescue & care for distressed animals

  • Support & encourage conservation

  • Protect wildlife

  • Host educational programs 

  • Raise environmental awareness


The Project's Wildlife Rescue and Recovery Center works with orphaned and injured wildlife of all species. We provide animals with medical treatment by expert veterinarians. Our team includes specialists in wildlife medicine who generously volunteer their time and expertise to help ailing wild animals.

Under the supervision and direction of founder and Wildlife Care Specialist Linda McLeod-Evans, volunteers are trained as Wildlife Medics to provide foster care to orphan birds and mammals and nursing care for injured patients through the recovery and rehabilitation phase of their hospital stay.


We bring our animals to our facility, the Emerald Sanctuary in Laguna Beach. This location provides continuous food, shelter, and medical attention to animals while they heal. When animals have injuries that make them too vulnerable to return to the wild, they are provided a permanent home here. 

Recovered animals are returned to the wild into carefully selected habitats when their treatment at the Center is complete. Each year, volunteers at the Project care for thousands of birds and mammals.


Although Pacific Wildlife Project is best known for its expertise in the care of endangered California Brown Pelicans, we proudly care for almost all wild & domestic animals that need our help. We accept calls at any time to pick up animals or receive drop-offs in any condition, no questions asked. 

Operation Pelican Watch was the Project's field rescue program formed in 1992. Volunteers patrolled lakes, beaches, and harbors to find and rescue pelicans and other seabirds and bring them to the Center for treatment. Hundreds of seabirds every year are victims of human carelessness or abuse and are injured by fish lines, hooks, and plastic debris. Without rescue and care, these birds usually die from infection and starvation. With intervention, 85% of the rescued birds recover and are returned to the wild. 

Since that time, Operation Pelican Watch has evolved into the Seabird Rescue Team and the Waterfowl Rescue Team. The Seabird Rescue team is responsible for patrolling areas along beaches, and the Waterfowl Rescue team is responsible for patrolling lakes, streams, rivers, and ponds. Together, they are able to cover a huge radius and rescue other animals that might have otherwise been left for the worst.


"We are connected to each other, to our supporters, and to the animals we care for through our mission, and we feel no joy greater than to be able to give back to nature a small part of the many gifts she gives to all of us."

- Linda Evans-McLeod, founder, Executive Director


The Project has been a key agency in crisis response and has rescued wildlife during fires and severe weather events, assisted agencies in emergency care of birds affected by fuel and crude oil, and responded for more than seven consecutive years to "the Worst Brown Pelican Die-off in the Nation's History" - the botulism outbreak at the Salton Sea. Pacific Wildlife Project, the lead agency in that disaster event, trained U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service personnel, established treatment and response protocols, and rallied over two hundred community volunteers to successfully rescue and treat over 4000 Pelicans.

The Project was subsequently honored with the Special Recognition Award from the United States Department of the Interior for its contribution to the nation's endangered wildlife. Pacific Wildlife Project's team of volunteers currently has the distinction of treating more pelicans than any facility worldwide! The Project provides telephone counseling to the public for all wildlife-related issues. A resource for radio, television, and print media, medical staff, and wildlife care experts to educate the public on wildlife issues.



Volunteers present programs and exhibits for community groups, schools, and community events. Help and information brochures are published and distributed throughout the community, including; animal shelters, veterinary offices, and harbor locations. Volunteer Programs give animal-loving citizens the opportunity to learn about and help animals and pursue internships, course credits, community service hours, and job training. 


The Project also contributes to the community through opportunities for teen, senior, and handicapped volunteers, as well as special projects for at-risk juveniles.  Participation in legislative and animal protection issues promotes a healthy future for our precious wildlife.  The Project helps people and agencies through community education to promote humane treatment, personal responsibility, and involvement in wildlife protection issues.





Nestled in the Laguna Beach hills, the sanctuary houses a wide array of wild, domestic, and exotic animals. This facility is an essential part of the Pacific Wildlife Project. Together, we have healed, released, or provided homes to thousands of animals

We provide space for animals to heal - rather than be euthanatized. This ideal place of refuge is in a coastal climate zone. The design creates an intensified ecosystem that additionally supports local wildlife. Our creatures receive compassionate, experienced care as a complementary service to the community.

Designed in harmony with the land, using  reclaimed materials whenever possible.

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