The work of the Potomac Riverkeeper Network doesn’t just benefit the 6 million people within the watershed, it also benefits the wildlife! One of the most iconic species our work impacts is the Chesapeake Bottlenose Dolphin.
Dolphins are an important indicator species because they are an apex predator, indicating a healthy ecosystem. Dolphins are also sensitive to toxins through biomagnification, so our work to ensure a clean river is very important to them.
In 2017 Dr. Janet Mann, of Georgetown University, and Dr. Helen Bailey, an associate research professor at the University of Maryland’s Center for Environmental Science Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, launched Chesapeake DolphinWatch to enlist the help of the public with their research on Chesapeake Dolphin populations.
You can help Dr. Mann and Dr. Bailey’s research by downloading the DolphinWatch smartphone application and recording when, where, and how many dolphins you observe on the river.