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Report Dolphin Sightings and Help Scientists with Chesapeake Bay Research

Thousands of residents and visitors with their eyes on the water have helped scientists understand when bottlenose dolphins are visiting the Chesapeake Bay. Are you ready to be one of them? Researchers at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science’s (UMCES) Chesapeake Biological Laboratory launched the Chesapeake DolphinWatch App in 2017 to get real-time reports of dolphin sightings on the largest estuary in the United States. Since then, scientists have received over 7,000 reports of dolphin sightings—submitted by over 14,600 registered app users—to help track the patterns of dolphin visits to the bay. Nearly 1,500 sightings were reported last year alone. “We are about to begin our eighth year of leveraging citizen scientists to understand the biology and ecology of bottlenose dolphins in the Chesapeake Bay,” said UMCES Professor Tom Miller, who now leads the program created by Helen Bailey. “Chesapeake DolphinWatch uses underwater microphones called hydrophones to listen for dolphin sounds and relies on citizen scientists to report their sightings of dolphins when they are out on the water.“ The Chesapeake DolphinWatch app was created to allow people who are already enjoying the Chesapeake Bay to report sightings of dolphins, including the time, date, GPS location, number of animals observed, and pictures and video of […]

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