The team will use the Houston-area dolphins as a case study, specifically looking at the adverse health effects of exposure to dioxins and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). They also aim to produce information on the cumulative effects of these stressors and to develop a conceptual model that will support natural resource managers in restoration decision making for dolphins.
A new study by local researchers shows that as many as 200 dolphins in Upper Galveston Bay are year-long residents of the highly industrialized, heavily trafficked waterway shared by the Houston Ship Channel.
GALVESTON, Texas – A major milestone has been reached for the program that works to better understand bottlenose dolphins in Galveston Bay.
Peer over the side of the Galveston-Port Bolivar Ferry or squint at the bow of a tanker vessel in the ship channel and there’s a good chance you’ll see dolphins gliding through the water.
Coverage of the effects of Hurricane Harvey on Galveston Bay dolphins
The Galveston Bay Dolphin Research and Conservation Program (GDRCP) is ramping up its dolphin surveys with the help of rapid response funding from Texas Sea Grant, through the Gulf of Mexico Alliance (GOMA).
Vanessa Mintzer of the Galveston Bay Foundation and Kristi Fazioli from the Environmental Institute of Houston (at the University of Houston-Clear Lake) are studying dolphins in upper Galveston Bay.
Kristi Fazioli first spotted the pair of dolphins swimming behind a shrimp trawler near Morgan’s Point, eager to get a mouthful of breakfast.
Kristi Fazioli slowed the Boston Whaler and cut the engine when a fin finally emerged where the Houston Ship Channel passes Bolivar Peninsula. At the bow, Sherah Loe, a graduate student, readied her camera.