Dolphin Connection Blog
Dolphin Connection Blog - November 201211/01/2012
In September, we were joined by a representative from the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary who spoke to us about NOAA’s Dolphin SMART program. This program aims to promote responsible stewardship of wild dolphins in coastal waterways and to minimize the impact on wild dolphins by commercial tour boat operators. One of the most important educational points in our programs at Dolphin Connection is about the Marine Mammal Protection Act and the danger to wild dolphin populations from interactions with people and boats. Even the most well-intentioned dolphin lovers are breaking the law when feeding wild dolphins or creating any situation that will disrupt their natural behavior. For this reason, tour boat operators have a very important obligation and opportunity when they take their guests into the ocean to ensure that the dolphins with whom they share that habitat are not being negatively impacted. People on these boats are learning by observation from the expert crew on board so the lessons demonstrated are crucial. The Dolphin SMART program provides recognition for boat operators who abide by the law while educating their customers about appreciating and observing wild dolphins from a respectful distance of 50 yards. Voluntary participation in this program demonstrates to the world that their company is lawful and ethical. The team at Dolphin Connection was so grateful for the opportunity to learn more about this program so that we can better support the Dolphin SMART-certified companies operating here in the Florida Keys.
In October, the Education Committee for the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums held its annual meeting in Orlando, Florida. Dolphin Connection’s Education Supervisor was honored to attend this meeting and excited to bring home all the latest information in environmental education, conservation studies and field research. Expect to benefit from all she learned next time you come to swim with the dolphins here in the Florida Keys!
Now, with our heads full of inspiring and exciting information, we look forward to your arrival to Hawks Cay Resort so we can share it all with you.