We are working as part of a team on a two-year project to:
1) evaluate injuries to bottlenose dolphins in the Turtle/Brunswick River Estuary (TBRE) system of south Georgia, and
2) develop possible restoration alternatives.
The injuries are associated with polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) exposure as part of a natural resource damage assessment (NRDA) of the LCP site near Brunswick, GA.
This is an EPA Superfund site where bottlenose dolphins have been found to have the highest PCB levels ever recorded in a marine mammal.
This assessment consists of a number of interrelated tasks. We are primarily involved in developing population models to try to identify the number of dolphin-years lost as a result of the pollution, and to propose alternatives for restoring the lost dolphin-years. The population models, based on the population viability analysis program Vortex developed by Bob Lacy, draw extensively from the unique long-term bottlenose dolphin population and life history data sets compiled by the Sarasota Dolphin Research Program for the resident dolphins of Sarasota Bay.
This article was published on page 5 in the January 2014 issue of Nicks n Notches