– Elementary school mock stranding with HSWRI

One of our Florida research scientist’s Teresa, visited Ocean Breeze Elementary today and had students participate in a mock stranding. Students learned techniques on how to secure the area, treat the animal and why stranding response is needed! Thank you Ocean Breeze Elementary School for having us! To learn more about HSWRI’s stranding response team, visit http://hswri.org/florida-stranding-response/

– Successful rescue of dolphin calf

Recently our Marine Mammal Stranding Team discovered a resident dolphin calf was entangled in marine debris wrapped tightly around its head. In consultation with NOAA Fisheries, the entanglement was deemed life-threatening and a rescue was planned. We’re pleased to report that this week the calf was successfully located and disentangled with the assistance of our local stranding partners. The debris was identified as a bungee cord with an attached crab-pot trap closure hook. This case is a reminder that we can all do our part to help with dolphin conservation by keeping our waterways free of marine debris.

We are proud to work alongside the following organizations who made this disentanglement successful: SeaWorld Orlando, Georgia Aquarium Conservation Field Station, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), University of Florida, FAU Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Volusia County Environmental Management, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and Canaveral National Seashore.

– HSWRI participates in Youth Ocean Conservation Summit

Over the weekend our Florida team attended the Youth Ocean Conservation Summit hosted at Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium. We were excited to join in their mission to empower young people with skills to launch ocean conversation efforts in their communities. Our research scientist, Megan Stolen and volunteer Casie Farrell spoke with future ocean conservationists about the importance of ocean Health and the impact humans have on sea life.

Thank you for having us!

– Otter Spotter project update


Hello from the Otter side! It has been a busy week with several otter exams in Florida. Our new Otter ecology program is evaluating otters as sentinels of health of the Indian River Lagoon and nearby watershed. To learn more about our Otter Spotter Project, head over to http://hswri.org/indian-river-lagoon-otters/

– HSWRI attends Hoot in the Park

We were so excited to support Florida Wildlife Hospital & Sanctuary at their Hoot in the Park event. FWH aids more than 5,000 sick, injured and orphaned wildlife animals of all kinds across Florida each year. Thank you for having us!

– Youth Ocean Conservation Summit on December 9

Florida folks! Join young people from across the country who are passionate about ocean conservation at the 2017 Youth Ocean Conservation Summit on Saturday, December 9 at Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, FL! We’ll be there 🐬

Visit www.yocs.org for complete details and to register for this year’s event!

– NFWF grant awarded to HSWRI scientist

Determining what killer whales eat, particularly during times when we aren’t sure exactly where they are, is extremely difficult but critical to conservation efforts. Our scientist Dr. Sam Rossman was recently awarded a grant to advance tools using stable isotopes to document the diet of marine mammals. We hope to apply this work to aid the recovery efforts of wild killer whale populations.

Thank you to National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, SeaWorld, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Shell for this generous grant!

– FL Team Participate in Beach Clean Up


Our Florida team is out doing beach clean up & helping our Florida oceans stay healthy! We can all do our part to promote healthy beaches by being aware of what we leave behind and picking up what we see.

– Dolphin Survey News

It’s November and time to celebrate the season of giving! When you purchase a Discover Florida Oceans license plate, you directly contribute to research on the Indian River Lagoon that helps us learn more about Florida dolphins like the one pictured here from our survey last week.

Funds from this program allow research scientist and volunteers to conduct surveys where they photograph, document and assess each dolphin sighted. Last week our Florida team conducted two very busy dolphin surveys covering the Mosquito Lagoon and the Halifax River. We saw several animals leaping and playing with fish – a total of 50 groups of dolphins made up of 226 animals.

– Natural Sea Wall at Coconut Point

Recently, our Florida volunteers and staff partnered with the Indian River Lagoon Aquatic Preserves to plant marsh grasses near the seawall to help buffer the effects of wind, water and hurricane damages at our Coconut Point lab in Melbourne Beach. This project will serve as a natural coastal defense by forming a vertical barrier between the land and the sea.

Plants were harvested in a collaboration with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at the salt marsh donor site, the Marine Discovery Center in New Smyrna Beach, then replanted at our Coconut Point lab. It truly took a village of dedicated people from various organizations to cultivate and create this new ecosystem.