Counting dolphins

The National Aquarium’s Marine Animal Rescue Program is hosting Maryland’s annual dolphin count tomorrow, 019Friday the 17th, along the coast of Ocean City! Staff and volunteers will spend a few hours on the beach watching the water for passing dolphins and filling out data sheets.  The teams will be stationed on the beaches at 40th street and 130th street and at Assateague State Park. There will also be a vessel based team aboard an Ocean City Coast Guard boat.

Think you know how many dolphins we will spot tomorrow? Text “dolphin” and your guess to 30644 and you could win a pair of tickets to the Aquarium! The contest will end at 1 p.m. ET on Friday. The official count and winners will be announced here so please check back Friday afternoon. Good luck!

Why are we counting dolphins? Annual dolphin counts help marine mammal specialists gather long-term information about dolphin populations, reproduction rates and ocean health. We have learned that bottlenose dolphins use Maryland waters as a thoroughfare for migration, summertime breeding, and feeding along the way.  Looking at population numbers over the years can help to determine the health of the coastal ecosystem as well as the abundance of prey.  With your help we will continue to gather and analyze this information and learn more about the state of our waters and the dolphin populations that are found off our coast.

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