The SDRP has continued its involvement with NOAA’s investigation of the potential impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
A peer-reviewed article by Dr. Lori Schwacke and numerous co-authors was published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, comparing the health of dolphins in heavily-oiled Barataria Bay, Louisiana in 2011 to the health of the Sarasota Bay dolphins, as an unoiled reference population.
Disease conditions in Barataria Bay dolphins were found to be significantly greater in prevalence and severity than those in Sarasota Bay dolphins. Many disease conditions observed in Barataria Bay dolphins are uncommon, but consistent with oil and oil byproduct exposure and toxicity.
CZS Sarasota Dolphin Research Program staff assisted NOAA with additional health assessments in Barataria Bay in June 2014. Over the course of two weeks, 32 dolphins were sampled, including 10 recaptures from previous years.
Through the first few months of 2014, we continued tracking dolphins we tagged with satellite-linked transmitters in Barataria Bay and in Mississippi Sound during the summer of 2013. Since June 2014, we have been tracking 11 more dolphins we tagged in Barataria Bay. Tracking results over the years suggest a high level of residency to local waters.
Support for our participation in the ongoing Deepwater Horizon investigation in 2014 was provided by NOAA.
This article was published on page 5 in the November, 2014 issue of Nicks N Notches, Nov 2014.