Friday, December 31, 2010

Do you make New Year's resolutions? How about resolving to visit DRC in 2011? We wish all of you a wonderful year ahead

Monday, December 27, 2010

The dolphins are enjoying all of the visitors to DRC today!

Friday, December 24, 2010

The DRC family wishes you all the best this holiday season. Remember we will be closed on Christmas Day but open for the rest of the week including New Year's Day!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The DRC family wishes the beautiful Aleta a happy 26th birthday. We love you, Allie!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Visiting the Keys for the holidays? Don't forget to visit DRC! (Swim spots should fill fast so book online soon!)

Friday, December 17, 2010

From Our Pod to Yours . . .

At DRC this morning you'd see: Tanner doing research; Delta playing w/a mangrove pod; Luna and her mom chasing minnows; Molly being weighed. Dolphins doing dolphin things!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

As we decorate for the staff/volunteer holiday party, we wonder if visions of herring dance in dolphins' heads

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

It's a little brisk today, but the Florida Keys will warm up soon. How about a visit this weekend?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Merina & Calf!

Nothing like video of a cute baby, its mom and other dolphins to bring a smile to the day! Check out the footage of Merina and her calf. Tursi and her little one, as well as Theresa, also appear. For those who wonder what's happening when a mom pushes the baby around with her rostrum, that's one of the ways that moms "surf" their calves. It's a form of play and bonding. It can also be used as discipline if the little one is wandering off or getting into trouble. :-)
So sweet! We hope you enjoy it.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Video of Tursi and Calf

We know you love seeing the dolphins as much as we do, but not all of you have the chance to visit them in person right now. This footage of Tursi and her baby was filmed over the last week or so. We hope you enjoy watching them swim and play!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Sad News

Dolphin Research Center is deeply sorry to share the news that Calusa's calf died early this afternoon. In observing him since his birth last Saturday, we recognized that he was not thriving the way that he should in his first days. DRC's Animal Care Committee was looking at ways to intervene and supplement, but the baby's condition rapidly deteriorated.

Calusa was proving herself an excellent mom and did all that she could to nurture the baby. Unfortunately, in every animal species, the youngest are the most delicate. There is an even higher mortality risk for a female's first calf. Sadly, not all who are born survive.

All of us in the DRC family appreciate your concern and support.

Thank you.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Baby Boom - Merina's Calf Arrives!

Merina's calf surfaces for a quick breath!

Only a couple days after the birth of Calusa's calf, Merina delivered her new, adorable baby on November 15th.

Judging from Merina's behavior and signs of labor contractions, we knew yesterday that it wouldn't be long. Although she held off until after dark, when Medical Director Pat Clough visited Merina's lagoon around 8:45 last night, the flippered bundle of joy was swimming alongside mom.

Merina is an experienced mother, having previously delivered and raised Pandora, Calusa and Cayo. This newborn calf is a cute addition to a lovely family.

It will be some time before we can announce the name of the baby's father. Conceived by artificial insemination, two males from other facilities are candidates. DNA testing in the future will determine which male is the baby daddy.

Friday, November 5, 2010

DRC Welcomes New Baby!

Look at the sweet face of Tursi's new calf!

The entire Dolphin Research Center family is delighted to announce the arrival of Tursi's baby on the evening of Friday, November 5th at 6:06 p.m. The little one is swimming strong around the lagoon with its beautiful mom.

For a few days, Tursi's behavior indicated that her time was drawing closer. Earlier today, she refused her fish meals and only ate gelatin treats that we offered. A member of the Animal Care and Training staff monitored her throughout the day. As time progressed, she hunched more frequently and exhibited contraction behavior.

At 5:16 p.m., the baby's tail flukes appeared and from that point on, the delivery quickly proceeded. Less than an hour later, after a good, long dive, up popped Tursi with the calf for a first breath!

As you know, Tursi is a very experienced, super, mom. From the moment she gave birth, she expertly steered her little one safely around the lagoon. The calf quickly caught on to the chin-slap breathing action that's common to all newborn dolphins. In order to make sure that the blowhole clears the surface, the baby brings its entire head up, so it's chin naturally slaps on the water on the way down.

Before another hour passed, Tursi had already cruised by the dock and accepted some juicy herring from the trainers. She'll take in lots of calories to produce rich milk for the newborn.

We won't know for some time whether the calf is a boy or a girl. Whatever its gender, the baby has a lot of ties in the DRC family. Its half-siblings are brothers Talon and Pax and sister Gypsi on Tursi's side. Kibby is the proud father, which means that Pandora and Delta are also half-siblings.

Welcome to the family, little one. Congratulations, Tursi and Kibby.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Holiday Photo Time Again!

Warm sun, sparkling oceans and stately palm trees might not have the Florida Keys in the holiday spirit yet, but Dolphin Research Center is giving guests a head start on their holiday photos. From now until December 22nd, visitors who participate in DRC’s Meet the Dolphin program can also pose with the dolphins for a holiday photo. Visitors will be offered a number of props such as Santa hats, reindeer antlers, and holiday wreaths to use while posing. DRC’s experienced photographers will shoot the pictures using high-resolution digital cameras. Meet the Dolphin gives guests the opportunity to go onto the floating dock to give backrubs and share a “flippershake” with a dolphin. The program is offered several times each day on a walk-in basis and costs $25 per person in addition to general admission prices. The photos can be supplied on CD for $30 (including all members of the family), or as prints. Print prices vary depending on number ordered.

Your holiday card could be the coolest one your friends and family receive and you'll have a terrific memory of your dolphin visit.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Donation for Dolphins!

The National Council for Traditional Arts (NCTA) recently presented a generous donation to Dolphin Research Center (DRC). Over $1500.00 was raised as a portion of the proceeds from the 1st Annual Florida Keys Traditional Music Festival that was organized by the NCTA in January 2010 at Sombrero Resort in Marathon. Area musician Joe Mama presented the check on behalf of the NCTA to DRC President and CEO Rita Irwin and Rainbow.

Many thanks to all of the organizers, performers, volunteers and attendees of the Music Festival. We appreciate your support!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Balloons Can Harm Wildlife

On a day when the ocean was incredibly clear and beautiful, local boaters spotted this bunch of balloons floating. Imagine the damage the balloons could have done! The boaters were not pleased. (Thanks to Cora for permission to use this photo.

With the start of football season, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) issued a press release to remind event organizers and other Floridians about a law prohibiting the release of more than nine lighter-than-air balloons within a 24-hour period.

Balloons released in Florida almost inevitably end up in the Gulf of Mexico or Atlantic Ocean. Wildlife, especially sea turtles, mistake balloons for food, and strings attached to balloons can entangle birds and other animals. The release into the atmosphere of large numbers of balloons inflated with lighter-than-air gases poses a danger and nuisance to the environment, particularly to wildlife and marine animals, according to Florida Statute 379.233, passed in 1989. The law provides for a $250 fine for violations.

There are exceptions for scientific or meteorological balloons released by a government agency or under government contract, hot air balloons that are recovered after launching, and balloons released indoors. The law also allows for the release of balloons that are biodegradable or photodegradable under FWC rules. Since 1989, the FWC has received only one such balloon design for review, and that balloon was not approved.

Obviously balloons are popular at outdoor events, including store openings and children's parties. It's up to all of us to make sure that the balloons are not released, but instead are disposed of properly to safeguard the environment and our animal friends.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Watch Out for Manatees!

Boaters, when you head out on the state’s waterways during the Labor Day weekend, please be extra cautious and obey manatee speed zone signs!
During warm weather, manatees move throughout Florida’s estuaries and rivers, and along the shore line, canals and basins all over the state. Boaters can help keep manatees safe by following a few simple guidelines: Stay in marked channels, wear polarized sunglasses to improve visibility below the water surface and obey posted boat-speed zones. Using poles, paddles or trolling motors when in close proximity to manatees and having someone onboard scan the water when under way can go a long way to protecting manatees from harm.
Boaters should scan the water near or in front of the boat – looking for a repetitive line of half-moon swirls – sometimes called a manatee footprint – or a trail or a snout or fluke (tail) breaking the water’s surface.
As of Aug. 20, 58 manatees have died in 2010 from watercraft strikes. With a little extra care, we can hopefully keep that number from increasing!
If you see a manatee in distress or a dead manatee, call the FWC Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922).

Monday, August 30, 2010

Japan Drive Fisheries

Many of you have seen the movie The Cove or the new series Blood Dolphins, both of which aired this past weekend on Animal Planet. Some of you have contacted us with questions about claims made by the shows that dolphins are captured in Japan and sent to marine mammal parks and facilities around the world. Dolphin Research Center is happy to answer your questions.

Dolphin Research Center and all of the 44 members of the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums condemn the mass killings of dolphins in the Japanese drive fisheries. For many years, we have educated visitors from around the world about the drive fisheries, calling on the Japanese to end this centuries-old practice.

DRC does not support the Taiji, Japan, drive fishery in any way. We do not have or take animals from the drive.

Not a single dolphin from Japan lives here or at any marine mammal park or aquarium in the United States, nor at any other Alliance member facility.

No dolphins have been captured from the wild to live at United States parks since the late 1980s.

Misinformation in The Cove and Blood Dolphins (A new series by Ric O’Barry) and in comments by the shows' principals makes it seem that dolphins captured in the Japan drive fisheries are sold to facilities in this country and around the world. That is not true. Continuing to mislead the public undermines the filmmakers’ credibility and does nothing to further the purpose of ending the Japanese dolphin killings.

We and other Alliance member zoos, aquariums and marine parks are widely and rightly recognized by the public and by governments worldwide for our important and long-standing contributions to marine education, to the protection of ocean wildlife and habitats, and to the rescue and rehabilitation of injured and stranded marine mammals, sea turtles and other animals. The American public continued to show its support for the good work done by zoos and aquariums, and the dedicated and caring professionals who work with these animals, with more than 140 million visits in the last year alone.

Thank you!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Cuteness Counts

If we could bottle Florida Keys Sunshine and sell it, we'd all be wealthy as royalty. Instead, we'll celebrate that we live on these beautiful, sun-drenched islands, surrounded by clean (oil-free), gorgeous water. Plus, those of us who work at or visit Dolphin Research Center are greeted by dolphins -- including these two cuties.

Delta turns nine months old this month. He's a handsome boy with a lot of charm.

Luna is almost seven months old. She'll melt your heart!

Do you have vacation plans for a last trip before the kids go back to school? How about visiting the Florida Keys and Dolphin Research Center. Delta, Luna, and all of the dolphins, sea lions and humans would love to see you.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Risk of Oil Impacting Keys now VERY Very Low!

Oil Response Chief: Risk Now ‘Very, Very Low’ for Oil to Travel to Keys Via Loop Current;Risk ‘Will Go to Zero Once Well is Killed’

The head of the U.S. Government's response effort to mitigate the Transocean/BP oil spill said that with the oil leak capped there is now little chance of oil remnants reaching the Florida Keys and the South Florida mainland.

When the well is permanently sealed there will no longer be any danger of oil impacts to the region, said retired U.S. Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen during a news briefing in New Orleans Thursday.

Allen responded to South Florida “Sun Sentinel” reporter David Fleshler’s questions regarding future threats to the Keys and South Florida:

“Once the well is killed we will have secured the source of oil in relation to the (Transocean/BP) Macando well,” Allen said. “For the past several months there has been an eddy (Eddy Franklin) that has broken off from the Loop Current between the wellhead and where the current comes north and turns towards the Straits of Florida.

“So (that) eddy has created a hydraulic barrier between the wellhead and the Loop Current, and the chances that oil will become entrained in the Loop Current are very, very low and will go to zero as we continue to control the leakage at the well with the cap and ultimately kill it,” he said.

Allen said that even with all the oil that gushed between April 20 and July 15, he does not expect significant oil remnants to reach the Keys or South Florida.

“The recent storm, tropical depression Bonnie, drove most of the oil to the northwest,” he said. “This is all moving in the opposite direction where oil would need to be to enter the Loop Current.”

Allen’s comments are being carried in a Quicktime video file on the Florida Keys website at or via links off the website’s home page at

All of us are delighted to hear this news and know that our beloved dolphins and their island home will continue to be safe. We join everyone in hoping that the clean-up efforts in the affected areas are successful and that the long-term impacts of oil in those areas can be reduced. We applaud the efforts of all of the Gulf Coast residents who have worked so hard to take care of wildlife and the environment.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Beautiful Start to a Great Week

Bright sunshine and beautiful dolphins. What a great Monday!

Talon helped a guest cool off during a Dolphin Encounter.

Awwww. How's that for some dolphin affection between Santini and Calusa?

These photographs were taken today, July 26th at Dolphin Research Center.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Scene in the Florida Keys!

We just have to share a cool new video shot over the weekend in the Florida Keys, and a terrific new ad. Check them out!

You can view additional videos, shot in recent weeks, at

No doubt about it. We live in paradise!

Friday, July 9, 2010

DRC Wishes Everyone a Fabulous Weekend!

Another great day, heading into a beautiful, oil-free weekend in the fabulous Florida Keys. The threat of impact from the oil spill remains very low and that makes all of us smile!

Aleta wishes all of you a wonderful weekend and hopes you come to visit soon!

Rainbow, or one of our other dolphin artists, will be happy to collaborate with you on a one-of-a-kind DolphinArt T-shirt!

These photos were taken today, July 9, 2010, at Dolphin Research Center.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A Beautiful View!

Beautiful dolphins. People having a great time. No oil or tar balls in sight. That's Dolphin Research Center today!

All of the above pictures were taken on July 6, 2010.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Heading into a Holiday Weekend

Dolphin Research Center and all of the Florida Keys think that still being oil free is another great reason to celebrate this 4th of July holiday weekend. The dolphins need no excuse to zoom around their clean lagoons!

Nothing like a great dolphin smooch to bring out a smile!

These photographs were taken at Dolphin Research Center on Friday, July 2nd and show that there's every reason to come on down and enjoy the Florida Keys.

See you soon!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

View the Underwater Beauty of the Florida Keys

Check out the new video footage, filmed this past weekend, underwater in the Florida Keys.

The video is posted on the Florida Keys official website. Click here to watch!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Beautiful Start to a New Week!

What a great way to kick off a beautiful week at DRC!
This family had a great time doing Dolphin Dip with Tanner.

Tanner loves to splash!

These photographs were shot today, June 28, 2010, by DRC's talented photographers. Dolphin Research Center and all of the Floriday Keys remain unspoiled by the oil spill. Come on down!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Update on Oil for the Florida Keys

Aleta brings young son Delta by for a leisurely look.

Santini is always willing to show off her winning smile.

DRC staff and volunteer introduce visitors to cool objects in the Whale Wagon.

The news continues to be positive for the Florida Keys regarding the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. According to the most credible sources, currently, there is no imminent danger of the Keys being affected by the spill. Officials at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, report that the northern end of the Loop Current has been pinched off into a large clockwise eddy (Eddy Franklin) so there is no clear path for spilled oil to enter the Loop Current from the source in the northern Gulf of Mexico.

We will certainly keep everyone posted if the situation changes, but right now the waters surrounding Dolphin Research Center and the Keys remain clear, clean, oil-free, and beautiful. You can check out some great footage that was filmed on Sunday, June 20th at It's a great time to make vacation plans and visit in person. In the meantime, here are some new photographs taken a short time ago around the grounds at DRC. (Please share this information with family and friends! Thank you!)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

People and Dolphins Having Fun in the Florida Keys

Everybody's enjoying the beautiful weather, and beautiful, oil-free water, at Dolphin Research Center. (Spread the word!)

All of these photographs were taken at Dolphin Research Center today, June 17th. We continue to be free of oil slicks, sheen and tar balls associated with the Deepwater Horizon explosion. There's no reason to cancel your vacation plans. In fact, it's a great time to plan a great Florida Keys getaway! Hope to see you at DRC soon.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Around the Lagoons - June 14th!

Guests in the morning Dolphin Dip loved Talon's enthusiastic leap!

Beautiful dolphins and clear water. It's another gorgeous day in the Florida Keys.

These photographs were taken by DRC's terrific photographers today, June 14th. Hope to see you soon!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Jax - A Survivor's Tail

In January 2008, a very special young dolphin joined the DRC family. Visitors are amazed at Jax's story of being found, injured and orphaned as a young calf, how he was rescued and rehabilitated and then became part of the DRC pod. Jax - A Survivor's Tail shares his story. This trailer provides a small sample of the complete video.

Advance orders for Jax - A Survivor's Tail are now being taken at our Gift Shop and online. To order online, click here.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Friendly Visits to DRC Today

This family had a blast in their Dolphin Encounter with Pax!

We also received a visit from a stately Great White Heron.

Everyone enjoyed this view of the Gulf of Mexico from our causeway. Ahhh!

All of these photographs were taken on Friday, May 28th.

We hope that all of you enjoy a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

DRsCene Today!

Some people have the mistaken impression that the Florida Keys have been affected by oil or tar balls. Thankfully, that's not the case. Our hearts go out to everyone in the northern Gulf that's currently being hit by the oil spill. We sincerely hope that the well is capped soon and that the clean-up efforts are successful.

A lot of people have been concerned and wondering if they should cancel their vacation plans in the Keys. Right now, everything's okay. There's a big three day weekend coming up and no reason not to visit DRC and experience all that the Florida Keys have to offer for fun, sun and water.

Here are some photographs we shot today.

Soaring high over clean, beautiful water.

Visit the Keys and DRC and enjoy the coolest way to travel!

The dolphin lagoons are clean and green -- just like they should be!

So far, so good and we'll keep our flippers crossed that this remains the case.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Oil Sheen Hundreds of Miles from Florida Keys!

The following information was made available today (May 21st) by Florida Keys officials.

Oil trajectory maps, released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration show light and very light sheens of oil and scattered tar balls from the Gulf oil spill in the Loop Current remaining well to the west of the Florida Keys through Sunday.

According to NOAA, the forecast position of the southern point of the sheen on Sunday is about 300 miles to the west of Key West.

Meanwhile, NOAA analysis show most of the oil, especially heavy concentrations, has not entered the Loop Current.

During a news conference late Thursday, NOAA administrator Dr. Jane Lubchenco reiterated that finding and stated, "If you look at the satellite images, it is obvious that the bulk of the oil is far away from the Loop Current."

If any of the oil makes it to the vicinity of the Florida Straits, it would be highly weathered and both the natural process of evaporation and the application of dispersants would reduce the oil volume significantly, Lubchenco said.

Oil entrained in the Loop Current would require persistent onshore winds or an eddy on the edge of the Loop Current for it to reach the Florida shoreline. If this were to occur, the weathered and diluted oil would likely appear in isolated locations in the form of tar balls, NOAA wrote in a statement.

Currently, there are no advisories recommending against travel to the Florida Keys or any other precautions advising visitors and residents not to engage in fishing, diving, swimming or other water sports, according to the Monroe County Health Department. Seafood from Florida Keys waters is safe to eat, officials said.

Federal, state and local environmental and emergency management agencies have met several times to review and modify mitigation strategies if a response to an oil threat is required for the Keys.

On Thursday, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist added Monroe County, in the Florida Keys, to a list of two dozen Florida counties already under a state of emergency declaration. Even though no Florida county has seen oil yet, the declaration was issued so counties can pre-qualify for federal reimbursement funding and individual business loans, if needed.

With this news, it's clear that the Florida Keys are still in excellent condition. The islands are ready to welcome you for a fun-filled vacation with all of your favorite activities on, in and around the water. Come on down and visit. All of the dolphins, sea lions and people at DRC will love to see you!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Tar Ball Update

The Coast Guard confirmed today that the tar balls discovered the other day in Key West are NOT from the oil spill in the Gulf.

From time to time very small numbers of tar balls float ashore from other sources, such as large ships that pass the islands far out at sea. While, of course, we wish that this didn't happen, at least they do not significantly impact the Keys shoreline or peoples' enjoyment of the Keys.

We continue to monitor the current situation with the oil spill and will keep you updated as news becomes available!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Answers to Oil Spill Questions

As expected, many people are asking us about DRC’s response and plans should the oil spill reach the Keys. These questions will most likely increase now that some tar balls have been spotted in the Lower Keys. Dolphin Research Center appreciates everyone's concern and wants to address your questions.

Q: When is the oil spill going to reach the Keys?
A: Although tar balls were recently spotted in the Lower Keys, we are waiting for the results of an analysis to tell us whether they are a result of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. If these tar balls are not connected to the oil spills, then we do not have a definitive answer on when or if the spill will reach the Keys.
In much the same way as can happen with hurricanes, situations frequently change. Sometimes, some areas in the Keys are directly affected while others are not. Dolphin Research Center continues to follow the reports of government officials throughout Florida, including the Florida Keys and the City of Marathon, who are monitoring the situation minute by minute. There are many factors at play such as: federal plans to attempt to keep the oil from spreading, what form the oil might be in if it reaches our shores (Tar balls as opposed to liquid crude oil, etc.), how much might reach the Keys and where, as well as the impact of prevailing weather conditions. These are just some of the things that will determine the extent to which our beautiful islands will be directly impacted.

Q: How and what are you going to specifically do to protect the dolphins and sea lions?
A: From the time that the oil spill first happened, Dolphin Research Center began formulating plans and aligning resources to keep the dolphins and sea lions safe. What we do specifically will depend on what form the oil is in if it reaches the Keys, how much arrives, and other factors.
We have access to different types of containment booms and are developing other methods to help block the substance from the lagoons. A representative of BP’s Incident Command has been on-site here at DRC to personally gain an understanding of our facility’s needs if the oil approaches Grassy Key.
There are additional strategies that we can employ and we will do whatever is necessary to protect the pod. Until we know more precisely what form the oil will take and the degree to which it might impact us, we cannot specifically say which strategy will be activated.

Q: Will DRC help with the clean-up efforts in the Keys?
A: Absolutely! In fact, we’ve already begun. There are preliminary beach and coastal cleanups underway. The more existing trash and debris that is collected from the shorelines and mangroves now, the easier it will be to remove oil or tar balls should they affect the Keys. At a recent bridge/shore cleanup, DRC staff and volunteers worked on land and by boat and hauled in over 30 large bags of debris.
Dolphin Research Center is the licensed Manatee Rescue Team for the Florida Keys. Members of DRC’s team have already completed training classes specific to oil response so that we can continue to perform this important service for any manatee that might be affected.

All of us who call the Florida Keys home value our beautiful islands and are committed to helping in whatever way possible.

Thank you for your questions and concerns about the dolphins, sea lions, and islands. Many people have asked how they can help DRC during this challenging time. Donations are always helpful and provide funds that we can use for whatever is necessary when it becomes necessary. Donations can be made on our website by clicking on Help DRC. Thank you!

We will continue to update this blog with additional information about the oil spill. In the meantime, if you have planned a vacation in the Florida Keys in the coming days or weeks, please do not rush to cancel those plans. Please continue to check this blog as well as the official Florida Keys website ( for updates about the status of the oil spill and the Keys. The dolphins, sea lions and all of us at DRC would love to see you!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Oil Spill Update - DRC

We’re pleased to report that everything at Dolphin Research Center is great. The Florida Keys remain unaffected by the oil spill and are absolutely beautiful. If you’re in need of a vacation with warm sun, sparkling clean water, places to relax, and plenty of fun activities to choose from, come on down!

Many of you have asked what you can do to help. Yes, we are accepting donations to help purchase equipment and supplies that we might need if the oil slick or any residual petroleum material makes it way to our islands. In the meantime, the best thing that you can do is continue with your vacation plans to visit the Keys and come to Dolphin Research Center. If you know of someone else who is traveling here, please reassure them that we’re in good shape at the present time.

We can combat the oil spill. It is more difficult to change public opinion. We know that people are concerned about their travel plans and we’re doing everything we can to guard against them thinking that DRC and the Florida Keys are in the direct line of the oil slick at present time.

DRC continues to carefully monitor the situation with the Gulf oil spill and plan accordingly to protect the dolphins and sea lions, should it become necessary. We’d like to stress that we are under no imminent risk at this time. Should the conditions change, we will have plenty of time to put plans into action.

We continue to keep the people and places in the Northern Gulf region who have been directly impacted in our thoughts and hope that their efforts to mitigate the effects are successful.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Update on Oil Spill

As of this morning, the oil slick from the Deepwater Horizons rig was still at least 100 miles away from the Loop current and many more miles away from the Florida Keys. We are assured by state and federal agencies that there are no impacts projected for the next 72 hours to any part of the state of Florida and likely longer for the Keys.

Dolphin Research Center continues to monitor the situation and make plans to protect the family pod if necessary.

Like everyone we are hoping that the efforts being made to contain the spill and lessen its devastating impact will be successful. Our hearts go out to everyone in the areas that are being directly impacted by the oil spill.

Many thanks for your continued concern.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Information about the Oil Spill

Along with everyone in the United States, Dolphin Research Center is deeply concerned about the oil spill crisis in the Gulf of Mexico. The immediate and long-range environmental impact of hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil erupting from the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig will be nothing short of disastrous to the oceans and marine life.

As you know, the health and well-being of the dolphins and sea lions is always our number one priority. Although we do not know at this time whether the oil will threaten the Florida Keys and Dolphin Research Center, please rest assured that we are taking proactive measures to protect the family pod. Our team is hard at work on action plans and on obtaining appropriate equipment that we might need. For example, there are special booms that absorb great quantities of oil. If necessary, we will set these around the lagoons to form a barrier and keep away as much oil as possible. As always, we will do whatever it takes to keep the dolphins and sea lions safe.

Many of you have asked if we will move the pod to another location. Removing the dolphins from their ocean home and transporting them to unfamiliar surroundings would not be our first choice. We believe that there are other protective measures that can be taken before considering such a move.

Government officials throughout Florida, including the Florida Keys and the City of Marathon, are monitoring the situation minute by minute. There are many factors at play such as: federal plans to attempt to keep the oil from spreading and reaching the shores of Florida; prevailing weather conditions; and whether the oil slick reaches the Gulfstream. These are just some of the things that will determine whether our beautiful islands will be directly impacted.

The Florida Keys Emergency Management Team is providing us with regular alerts and we will remain on top of the situation until such time as the crisis is controlled and our family is safe. The Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and the U.S. Coast Guard are advising Keys residents and visitors to seek information from official Web sites including: and

As always, we are grateful to all of you for your concern and support. Everyone at Dolphin Research Center knows that you join us in hoping for the best outcome during this troubled time. We will keep you posted as events continue to unfold.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

It's a Girl!

Pandora's daughter is simply adorable.

We recently confirmed that Pandora's bundle of flippered joy is a baby girl! Mom and calf are both doing well. Pandora's demonstrating great skill and confidence as a first-time mother. The baby is active and growing and Mom loves showing her off to visitors.
Now that we know her gender, we will begin considering names. If you have a suggestion, feel free to leave it in the comments.

That mischievous sparkle in the baby's eye reminds us of her mother!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Unexpected Guests

You never know who'll drop by DRC, or swim by for that matter.

A staff member having a meeting at the end of the causeway just happened to look up at the right time as this mother manatee and her calf swam up. Apparently, there was some tasty algae growing on the rocks. A yummy manatee snack, perhaps?

After staying long enough for several staff members and guests to ooh, ahh and take pictures, the manatees swam off to their next destination, wherever that might be.

(It isn't always easy to get clear shots of manatees. In this case, the breeze created a lot of ripples in the water, but we think you can at least see our beautiful guests.)