Published July 12, 2013
Aquatic Life , Conservation , Dolphins , National Aquarium , National Aquarium Animal Rescue , News
Tags: animal rescue, Aquarium Animal Rescue, Assateague State Park, Conservation, dolphin count, marine mammal conservation, maryland, national aquarium, ocean city, ocean health
Staff from the National Aquarium Animal Rescue program were joined by volunteers today for the annual Maryland Dolphin Count. This year, 113 dolphins were sighted!
Volunteers of all ages braved the rain to help record dolphin sightings at four locations along the Eastern Shore of Maryland – three beach locations in Ocean City and at the Assateague State Park Day Use Area.
In Ocean City, our team also spotted numerous pelicans and osprey diving for fish!
Annual dolphin counts help marine mammal specialists capture a snapshot look at dolphin populations, reproduction rates and ocean health. Looking at the population numbers over the years can help to determine the health of the coastal ecosystem as well as the abundance of prey.
We want to send out a big thank you to all those who joined our team today!
Click here for more information on National Aquarium’s Animal Rescue Program and how the general public can assist with rescue efforts!
Every Sea Turtle Counts. After a year-long rehabilitation, the National Aquarium’s Marine Animal Rescue Program (MARP) has returned a now-healthy loggerhead sea turtle to its ocean habitat! Over 500 people gathered on the beach at Assateague State Park for the release and watched in anticipation as the turtle swam through the waves, and returned to sea! Here is the video:
As you have just heard, to the National Aquarium, investing time and resources to healing one individual sea turtle is important because there are only seven living species of sea turtles globally, and all of them are either endangered or threatened. When this loggerhead came to us it was unlikely to survive much less continue to propagate its species. Now that it is healthy, we have every reason to believe that it will be successful in its natural environment.
Click here to track the turtle’s travels online! The Aquarium fitted it with a satellite tag, funded by the Shared Earth Foundation, which is transmitting information about its location and speed. As of yesterday the turtle has traveled 46 miles and is heading south to warmer waters!
The Aquarium is committed to protecting and rehabilitating sea turtles and needs public support to continue this important work. The MARP program is funded solely by grants and the rescue, rehabilitation and release of just one marine animal can cost the program up to $50,000. Donations can be made via mail or on the Aquarium’s website at http://www.aqua.org/makeadifference/marp.html.