– Essential Stranding Program Volunteers

We have a full house of volunteers over at our Melbourne Beach, Florida lab today! In Florida, volunteers help with a number of functions such as photo ID of dolphins in the Indian River Lagoon, which helps us identify known and new dolphins in order to track health and well-being; prepping of teeth for dolphin aging studies; necropsies on marine mammals and much more!

Volunteers are an essential part of our work at HSWRI and we appreciate the long standing dedication! If you would like to #helpseachange and become a part of our volunteer team, please email solutions@hswri.org!

– HSWRI Attends FL Marine Mammal Conference

We had an awesome time attending and participating in the Florida Marine Mammal Health Conference hosted by UF Aquatic Animal Health Program! This conference addressed aquatic ecosystems and health issues impacting marine mammals and other aquatic species in Florida. HSWRI scientists and research team hosted talks on Water Quality and the Indian River Lagoon and Stranding, Rescue, Rehabilitation and Intervention.
To learn more about the annual conference, you can visit http://www.conference.ifas.ufl.edu/marinemammal18/index.html

Thank you for having us!

Pictured below, HSWRI scientists and research team; Teresa Jablonski, Lydia Moreland, Wendy Noke-Durden, Sam Rossman and Megan Stolen.

– Boat Danger with Marine Wildlife

With increased boat traffic along coastal ecosystems, there is an increased danger for both dolphins and manatees. It is important to be mindful of protected wildlife. Several dolphins in our study area bare evidence of vessel strikes, and we are currently monitoring a dolphin in the Mosquito Lagoon on the east coast of Florida, that recently suffered a severe boat strike. We are hopeful that this animal will be able to survive the injuries. Our routine photo-ID surveys will allow us to monitor the dolphin’s condition.

You can help protect dolphins by following the Dolphin SMART recommendations, obeying NOAA Fisheries guidelines by remaining at least 50 y away from dolphins, and wearing polarized sunglasses while boating to more easily see submerged animals. Check out this information provided by www.dolphinsmart.org for more information on responsible dolphin viewing:

http://sanctuaries.noaa.gov/dolphinsma…/pdfs/ds_brochure.pdf

– Humpback Whale Stranding

On Monday, HSWRI scientists were called to lead a multi-agency investigation into the stranding of a humpback whale that washed ashore on Sunday. The death of this whale is part of an Unusual Mortality Event (UME) happening in the North Atlantic. For more about the UME, please visit http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/…/mmu…/2017humpbackatlanticume.html

Large whale examinations are only possible with careful coordination and effort of many groups. Our partners include: National Marine FisheriesFlorida Fish and Wildlife Conservation CommissionGeorgia Department of Natural Resources – Georgia DNR and Georgia Aquarium‘s Dolphin Conservation Field Station.

Photo Credits: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Blue Line UAV & Val Stepanchuk

– Space Coast Birding & Wildlife Festival

We had a great time over the last 4 days attending the Space Coast Birding & Wildlife Festival and not only connecting with many people in Brevard but from all over the country! We would like to thank HSWRI trustee, Laurilee Thompson for having us and continuously facilitating an excellent event for wildlife awareness in Florida!

– Florida Tax Collectors Training

Hello from Orlando! We are at the Florida Tax Collectors, Executive Training this week with information about our Discover Florida’s Oceans license plate. Tax offices are instrumental in helping Florida residents register for plates and we wanted to send a thank you! For more information on how to #HelpSeaChange in Florida, ask your local office about purchasing a plate and visit discoverfloridasoceans.org

– 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/

– 100 Surveys Completed Along the Indian River Lagoon

Since April, we completed more than 100 surveys of Indian River Lagoon dolphins with the help of our collaborators. #HSWRIYearInReview

It’s not too late to make a gift for 2017 – give online now and add another tax-deductible donation to your taxes for next year! http://bit.ly/1NIkULk

– 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!