Workshop Report on Preparing for Oil Spill Impacts to Dolphins Now Available
DEC. 5, 2022 — On Feb.15-16, 2022, the Coastal Response Research Center and NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration co-sponsored a virtual workshop entitled “Greater Houston Area Bottlenose Dolphin Data Gaps.”
The workshop addressed data needs, distribution, health, and challenges of these dolphin stocks and how this information could support potential future natural resource damage assessments in the region. The two-day workshop included plenary presentations in which federal, state, and local representatives outlined: dolphin distribution demographics, and fecundity; and health (live animal studies, strandings, unusual mortality events (UMEs).
Threats to the animals were also discussed, including contamination (mercury, land-based emerging contaminants of concern, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), persistent organic pollutants (POPs) including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and dioxin), oil spills, superfund sites, water/sediment quality; human-caused impacts from shipping, fisheries, and engineering projects (storm surge protection, dredging, construction); and extreme weather, freshwater inundation, and harmful algal blooms. The workshop report including the presentation summaries is now available.