The North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island, Jennette’s Pier and the Outer Banks Community Foundation have teamed up with the Outer Banks Center for Dolphin Research (OBX CDR) to develop and install informational graphic panels at these two aquarium facilities.
Christin Brown, education curator at Jennette’s Pier, said she’s proud of the project, which she and her staff helped organize and implement. Pier Director Mike Remige was glad they are in place for this summer season.
“These weather-resistant signs highlight the work of the dolphin research center and focus on the importance of conservation of bottlenose dolphins,” he said. “The two, three-foot by two-foot signs, have already been installed in strategic locations at each facility to highlight the potential of spotting one or more of these amazing creatures.”
Jessica Taylor, principal investigator for the research center, said she was also pleased with the way the signs turned out. She hopes the general public will learn how to do their part to protect bottlenose dolphins.
“Bottlenose dolphin are a protected species and an important part of the environment,” she said. “Support from the public is an integral part in continuing their conservation. Public support is key.
Coastal dolphins live between 40 to 50 years. As adults, they grow six to eight-foot long. They are warm-blooded, breath air and even have hair in the early stages of life. The research center uses markings on dolphins’ dorsal fins to track the area’s population, and they have identified more than 600 of these energetic and playful marine mammals, Taylor said.
At Jennette’s Pier, the attractive, new informational sign is conveniently located next to the spotting scope on the north side of the pier with direct views of the Atlantic Ocean. At the Aquarium, the graphic panel is located next to the entrance to the new Soundside Pier.
“Both facilities’ panels focus on conservation efforts while the Aquarium’s sign also includes information about how scientists identify individual dolphins,” Brown said. “Guests at the Aquarium have the potential to spot one of our local Outer Banks dolphins frolicking in the beautiful Croatan Sound!”
This unique educational project was made possible through a grant received from the Outer Banks Community Foundation with matching funds provided by both the N.C. Aquarium on Roanoke Island and Jennette’s Pier.