In the Pensacola area, near Fort Pickens, a young oiled dolphin beached itself. A woman visiting from Arkansas saw the dolphin and tried to wipe off the oil. She and her family were in the water with the dolphin for quite a while with other people. Reportedly the dolphin was crying. Eventually they got the dolphin out of the water with the help of Coast Guard volunteers and a Florida Dept. of Environmental Protection officer and on the way to a rescue facility in Panama City. The dolphin, however, did not survive the journey. “It was so sad. It just broke our hearts,” the woman said.
More oil and more oil has been appearing in the area. Ft. Pickens is part of the Gulf Islands National Seashore. The area is known for long stretches of beautiful beaches with white sand.
A Chicago biologist has fears for Gulf dolphins due to the oil in the water. He has been monitoring the health of a Florida dolphin population. Wind patterns are the critical factor he said, in how the oil moves throughout the Gulf. If winds spread the oil around more, there is a greater chance dolphins will be impacted negatively.
The NRDC has video of dolphins swimming in oiled water:
Healthy Dolphins in Clean Water at Pensacola:
Image Credit: Gail Bishop