Sunday, July 16, 2006

Expert submits plan to protect dolphins

As lifeguards look out for swimmers, volunteers look out for dolphins. "We keep track of all the dolphins that swim past us, you can see here, we're at 67th Street," said Ocean health expert Jose Barrios.National aquatics experts counted every dolphin they could see in Ocean City Wednesday."We submit this data to the agencies that create new regulations so they can work in better management for the species," he said.

Barrios says years ago, pollution killed half the bottlenose dolphin population in the Atlantic. He hopes by counting dolphins now, he can get an important message across to sunbathers."Any action we're doing here on the land will end up affecting the marine environment," he said. "When you release a balloon into the air 10 miles away, it can end up in the stomachs of dolphins that we found."Barrios hopes spreading his message helps save future dolphins.

The National Aquarium in Baltimore counted 66 dolphins Wednesday. Last year, 159 dolphins were counted. Experts say it's not something they're particurlarly concerned about. Wednesday's study is combined with years of research.

Quick "Facts about Dolphins"