Scientists want America’s help in naming two new bottlenose dolphins that have been spotted in the Potomac River.
Over 1,000 dolphins have been identified and named so far in the Potomac River, according to the Potomac Conservancy. These dolphins have been identified by the Potomac-Chesapeake Dolphin Project. They believe that there could be “thousands of dolphins swimming in the Potomac and Chesapeake Bay.”
The identified dolphins are named because it makes them easier to track, according to the Potomac Conservancy. Three-hundred four of the dolphins are named after various past and current American leaders. “Martha Washington” was spotted last summer with a baby calf by her side.
Even dolphin “Abraham Lincoln” can be seen swimming around.
The two unnamed dolphins are believed to be adults, according to the Potomac Conservancy. It takes five to ten years for a bottlenose to reach maturity. They are named “D1 and D2” right now.
The Potomac-Chesapeake Dolphin Project was launched in 2015 and researches things like the dolphins’ seasonal mating, feeding habits, local challenges to their habitat and more.
Cleaner water and healthier native fish could be why these sea mammals are moving further upstream, NBC Washington reported. The water in the Potomac River was so dirty in 2016 that the swimming portion of Washington, D.C.’s 9/11 Triathlon was cancelled. (RELATED: The Clean Water Act: 40 Years Of Inefficient Solutions)
“We believe that a return to clean water in the Potomac River is going to help the dolphins swim further upstream and continue to fish in our hometown river,” Melissa Diemand, a spokesperson for Potomac Conservancy said, according to NBC Washington.
The dolphins like to spend the summer months in the Potomac River, and can be seen in the Potomac and Chesapeake areas as they migrate from the Atlantic Ocean.
Dolphins have been swimming in this area since the 1880s, Diemand said according to NBC Washington.
The deadline to submit a name is May 24. So, it’s time to “flip out,” the Potomac Conservancy said.
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