The public is invited to join National Aquarium’s Animal Rescue team for their annual Animal Rescue Fundraiser on Thursday, July 11, followed by the annual Maryland Dolphin Count along the Atlantic coast of Maryland on Friday, July 12.
National Aquarium will host a fun-filled afternoon at Seacrets: Jamaica USA in support of the organization’s Animal Rescue program on Thursday, July 11 from 3:30-9:00 p.m. Attendees can enjoy family-friendly activities including crafts and games from 3:30-5:00 p.m., and from 5:00-9:00 p.m., adults, age 21 and up, can enjoy games and a special raffle to win a behind-the-scenes experience at National Aquarium, Baltimore. One hundred percent of the evening’s five-dollar cover will be donated directly to the Animal Rescue program.
On Friday, July 12, from 8:00-11:00 a.m., staff and volunteers of all ages will help record dolphin sightings at four established beach locations to help determine the state’s dolphin population. Participation and attendance to the dolphin count event is free and open to the public. The four locations are as follows: Assateague State Park Day Use Area (6915 Stephen Decatur Highway, Berlin, MD 21811), 40th Street at the Beach; Ocean City, MD, 81st Street at the Beach; Ocean City, MD and 130th Street at the Beach; Ocean City, MD.
Annual dolphin counts help marine mammal specialists capture a snapshot look at dolphin populations, reproduction rates and ocean health. Looking at the population numbers over the years can help to determine the health of the coastal ecosystem as well as the abundance of prey. Last year, more than $2,000 was raised for the Animal Rescue program at the fundraiser and participants of the dolphin count helped record 31 sightings.
Since 1991, National Aquarium’s Animal Rescue program has been responsible for responding to stranded marine mammals and sea turtles along the Delmarva (Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia) Peninsula, primarily along the nearly 4,360 miles of Maryland coast. The team has successfully rescued, treated, and returned nearly 100 animals to their natural habitats. National Aquarium’s Animal Rescue program is a member of the Northeast Stranding Network (NERS) through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). National Aquarium is one facility among a network of nationally recognized facilities that work cooperatively to respond to stranded marine mammals and sea turtles.