Prompted by rising concerns about the well-being of dolphins along our shores, the Foundation launched the Palm Beach Dolphin Project in 2003. Working under National Marine Fisheries Service permits, the Palm Beach Dolphin Project is the flagship conservation research program of the Foundation. We explore the life history, behavior, habitat use, social lives, and communication of wild dolphins. In addition to gathering critical baseline data, we shed light on how the health of these top predators, and the conditions of the natural resources they depend upon, directly and indirectly, impact our own health and well-being. The project continuously produces new insights into the lives of wild bottlenose and Atlantic spotted dolphins using a variety of research techniques including boat surveys, photo identification, GIS mapping, and employment of drones. As of 2020, we have identified more than 600 bottlenose and spotted dolphins, many of which are seen regularly in our coastal waters.
Adopting a dolphin is an easy and effective way to support our research and conservation efforts. It is the perfect gift for yourself or that special someone. It is meaningful and lasting. It helps protect these wonderful, intelligent creatures and the world they live in, and it allows you to follow the life of your dolphin, learn about the community he lives in, the places he travels.
For more information on how to participate as a volunteer, intern or research assistant, and how to join our Ocean Sentinels Club and become a dolphin advocate, contact our Research Director Barbara Brunnick, Ph.D. In his essay Dr. Harzen provides a more detailed rationale of why it is important to study dolphins.