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Congressional Staffers Briefed on Dolphin Research at National Aquarium

MARCH 7, 2022 —This week the Coastal Response Research Center (CRRC) invited NOAA’s Senior Scientist Lisa DiPinto to the Baltimore Aquarium for an opportunity to brief representatives from Senator Shaheen’s staff about exciting dolphin research NOAA is leading with the Baltimore National Aquarium, the CRRC, and Johns Hopkins University.  

Senator Shaheen staffers with scientists from NOAA, CRRC, and aquarium trainers, and Foster the dolphin showing off in the background. Credit: NOAA.

The research project, a small part of a larger restoration project that is supported through funds administered by the Open Ocean Trustee Implementation Group as part of the Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Assessment, will help us understand more about how dolphins are exposed to oil when they surface and breathe in an oil slick.  

The experiments at the National Aquarium, which are performed in clean saltwater, will characterize water droplet production and inhalation during a breathing event using high resolution and holographic cameras.  This data will guide future mechanical laboratory simulations of the breathing events (without dolphins) with oil and oil-dispersant mixtures. 

The results of these experiments can help oil spill injury assessors better understand how dolphins that surface and breathe in oil slicks can become exposed to oil droplets via inhalation.    

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Last updated Tuesday, November 8, 2022 1:41pm PST