The Marine Education, Research and Rehabilitation Institute Inc. is seeking volunteers for its annual dolphin count from 9 to 11 a.m., Saturday, July 20.
Observers will be stationed at predesignated points running from Fenwick Island to Woodland Beach.
Results from this count will help to determine population stability among Atlantic bottlenose dolphins in this region. “The dolphin count is important for multiple reasons," said Suzanne Thurman, MERR executive director. "After collecting data locally, we compare it with past numbers and numbers of other stranding organizations in the Northeast region who monitor bottlenose dolphin to ensure stability in their population."
Volunteers will collect and analyze data on local dolphin populations on coastal beaches and even a few inland locations. "Volunteers enable us to provide coverage that we normally wouldn't have the power to do," Thurman said. "They are integral in making this a success."
Thurman said, on average, about 300 to 400 dolphins are counted in the two-hour period, and everyone is welcome to participate.
To volunteer for the count, call 302-228-5029.
MERR is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the conservation of marine mammals and sea turtles, and their habitat. MERR provides stranding response for marine animals throughout the state of Delaware.
For more information, go to www.merrinstitute.org.