Be Dolphin Smart
guest blogger: Holly Ryan
It’s no surprise that living in Charleston there is the potential to see some beautiful marine animals not too far from home. Dolphins are a large part of this marine group, their sightings being incredibly joyous, leaving their observers hoping for more than the one rare sight. We know these amazing creatures to be extremely intelligent and friendly. Which is why great precautions are being taken to protect them. The Charleston Magazine featured a fascinating article last month, sharing information that is much more involved than most of the commonly known dolphin knowledge.
Our ecosystem, especially our oceans, is one of the most fragile aspects of our planet. The article talks about what dolphins can share with us as well as how they can educate us on the importance of not polluting our waters, aka their home. When we toss a gum wrapper or empty bottle on the ground, our first thought usually is not "Will this hurt the dolphins?". No. When we litter, there really isn't any thought behind it. But if we did stop to wonder what happens to trash we just toss on the ground, then we start to understand its effects. That small gum wrapper will one day get washed away by rain into a sewer system which ultimately leads to our oceans. While maybe you've done that once or twice, so have billions of other people that make up our planet, and that adds up to a lot of trash in our oceans (which by the way, take up more than 70% of planet Earth). Think of this scenario next time you feel like trashing your garbage on the ground. Imagine walking around your house, car, and place of work, with garbage and plastic bottles everywhere, left there by not yourself. It doesn’t sound very pleasant, does it? That’s how dolphins and other marine animals feel when our trash ends up in their home, the ocean!
To most of the public’s surprise, there are very detailed ways of tracking and monitoring the dolphins that inhabit the ocean, specifically the Charleston area. Scientists can safely test them to ensure they are living healthy and can tell if they are pregnant. Research is continuously being done to ensure that the dolphins remain protected. The Lowcountry Marine Mammal Network is a group of volunteers that work together to monitor the beach and hold educational seminars for the public. If you are interested in helping to save the dolphins, try attending one of these events. It could be a great start to saving these fascinating creatures and our oceans!
Even taking a trip to the aquarium to escape of some that lowcountry heat can open your eyes to the beauty living out in the big blue sea. The more you learn about what life lives in our oceans, the more you may start to change your perspective or even very simple daily tasks that can actually have a huge impact on these animals.
Charleston is full of fun, beauty, and adventure. Spotting a dolphin tends to give us a magical feeling that connects us to the ocean. If we start to lose these creatures, we lose that magic. Let's help keep the dolphins of Charleston thriving!
The article in reference shares information collected from different scientific based groups, including, NOAA, NOS (National Ocean Service), NOAA Fisheries, NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology), NMMF (National Marine Mammal Foundation), SCDNR (Department of Natural Resources), and many others.
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