Courtesy of the Coastal Discovery Museum, Hilton Head Island
Ever wonder what your favorite dolphin’s name is? Maybe you have seen one in the May River, Port Royal Sound, or off the beach from time to time. Many of these dolphins have been identified and tracked by USCB scientists who photograph their unique dorsal fins, and give them interesting names like Lucky, Stumpy, Nacho or Beggar.
Through a collaboration between USCB’s Lowcountry Dolphin Conservation Program and the Coastal Discovery Museum on Hilton Head, you can Adopt-A-Dolphin and learn how to help protect both the Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins that live here year round and those which come here to feed and play in the summer.
You will learn about the abundance and health of our dolphins through the scientist’s surveys, which take place twice a month, and receive other updates on the health of our estuaries, including the fish that serve as important prey for dolphins.
Most importantly, you can help us spread the word about threats to our dolphin population so that our community can better care for these vulnerable animals. Dangers dolphins face include noise and chemical pollution, boat interactions, overfishing, emerging diseases, and climate change. Better understanding these issues through science will help us protect this amazing species and our environment.
There are two levels of dolphin adoptions, which we call visitor and resident (scientists call them migrants and residents). At the visitor level you get an adoption certificate with a photograph of your dolphin’s dorsal fin, as well as monthly updates. At the local level, you adopt one of our year-round dolphins and also get a t-shirt. Anyone can adopt either level, the visitor level is $50 and the local level is $100.
Your support is critical in funding scientific research and public education on dolphins, as recent cuts to the federal budget have eliminated support for studying these species.
To Adopt a Dolphin – Please click here to download the application.