The public is invited to join the National Aquarium’s Animal Rescue team for their annual Animal Rescue Fundraiser on Thursday, July 16, followed by the annual Maryland Dolphin Count along the Atlantic coast of Maryland on Friday, July 17.
The National Aquarium will host a fun-filled afternoon at Seacrets: Jamaica USA in support of the organization’s Animal Rescue program on Thursday, July 16 from 3:30-9:00 p.m. Attendees can enjoy family-friendly activities including crafts and games from 3:30-5:00 p.m., and from 5:00-9:00 p.m., adults, age 21 and up, can enjoy games and a special raffle to win a behind-the-scenes experience at the National Aquarium. One hundred percent of the evening’s five-dollar cover will be donated directly to the Animal Rescue program.
On Friday, July 17, from 8:00-11:00 a.m., staff and volunteers of all ages will help record dolphin sightings at three established beach locations to help determine the state’s dolphin population. Participation and attendance to the dolphin count event is free and open to the public. The three locations are as follows: Assateague State Park Day Use Area (6915 Stephen Decatur Highway, Berlin, MD 21811); 40th Street at the Beach, Ocean City, MD; and 130th Street at the Beach, Ocean City, MD.
Annual dolphin counts help marine mammal specialists capture a snapshot look at dolphin populations, reproduction rates and ocean health. Looking at the population numbers over the years can help to determine the health of the coastal ecosystem as well as the abundance of prey. Last year, $2,930 was raised for the Animal Rescue program at the fundraiser, and participants of the dolphin count helped record 53 sightings, a lower number than last year, likely resulting from limited visibility do to fog.
Those interested in participating in this year’s count are asked to register in advance. For more information on National Aquarium’s Animal Rescue Program and how the general public can assist with rescue efforts, visit http://aqua.org/care.