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National Ocean Service Deputy Assistant Administrator Joins OR&R for Dolphin Health Assessment Studies

JULY 27, 2018 — On January 19-20, NOS Deputy Assistant Administrator Nicole LeBoeuf joined OR&R Chief Scientist Lisa DiPinto and a team of over 60 national and international researchers in Grand Isle, Louisiana, to observe ongoing bottlenose dolphin health assessment studies in Barataria Bay that focused on cardiac assessments. 

Three people posing in the water with a dolphin.
NOS Deputy Assistant Administrator Nicole LeBoeuf (center) assists with the sampling of a dolphin in Barataria Bay. Permit No. 18786-01. Image credit: NOAA.

The Consortium for Advanced Research in Marine Mammal Health Assessments, which includes NOAA researchers, aims to better understand the long-term impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on a stock of dolphins in the bay, which was heavily oiled during and after the spill. Previous studies conducted as part of the Deepwater Horizon natural resource damage assessment found that bottlenose dolphins had high adverse health effects from the spill including low reproductive rates, hormonal impairments, and high mortality. 


During the overall two weeks of field work, the research group sampled 34 dolphins (13 females, 21 males) and deployed 19 satellite-linked tags to track fine-scale movements within Barataria Bay. 


Dispatches from the Gulf has created the following videos on the dolphin health assessment studies:


The Dolphins of Barataria Bay - Part 1
The Dolphins of Barataria Bay - Part 2

 


For more information, contact Lisa.Dipinto@noaa.gov.


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