Thursday, January 24, 2013
Dolphins in the Cold Waters of the Navesink River
Early this morning I spotted a pair of Bottlenose Dolphins swimming near the Oceanic Bridge in the Navesink River . I assumed that the pair was part of the same pod people have been observing and following on and off in the same river and in the same location since last summer.
Yet, now local waters are quite cold. Water temperatures in the Navesink River and Sandy Hook Bay are at or below freezing. Enough to create large areas of river ice. Thankfully. the winds have been strong and gusty all week, enough so to toss and turn the tidal waters around to keep this area of the river without a large mass of ice. But for how long?
With snow coming soon and cold weather continuing for several more days, the pair of dolphins could get trapped under a layer of ice, or could become weak or sick. The pair of dolphins seemed to me to be an adult and a juvenile. Why were they are still here and not farther south with other Bottlenose dolphins is anyone's guess. Normally, Bottlenose dolphins prefer waters 55 degrees and up.
Although Bottlenose Dolphins are a common marine mammal seen swimming along ocean beaches of New York and New Jersey and the tidal waters of Lower New York Bay, including the Navesink and Shrewsbury rivers, from late spring through early fall, the timing of a small pod of dolphins in late January should have people worried. I hope they can find their way back to the ocean soon, an approximately 10 mile journey from where they are located now through the river and Sandy Hook Bay.
Please contact the Protected Resources Northeast Division Main Office of NOAA Fishers Service at 978-281-9328 and ask them to help the Navesink River dolphins. At least investigate the matter. This organization has authority to protect and help healthy living dolphins, seals, and whales, as directed by the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972.
Also, please report all sighting of healthy, sick, alive or dead dolphins, marine mammals, or sea turtle, to the New Jersey Marine Mammal Stranding Center at 609-266-0538, http://www.marinemammalstrandingcenter.org/home.html