Untamed Lowcountry

Love Beaufort County dolphins? Now you can adopt one and get updates

Hilton Head dolphin cruising: Meet three famous (and adorable) local dolphins

Island Time Charters Captain Megan McLaughlin took Island Packet reporter Mandy Matney on an adventure to meet local dolphins. Meet Stu, Nick, and Cheerio, who we found in Palmetto Bay Marina.
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Island Time Charters Captain Megan McLaughlin took Island Packet reporter Mandy Matney on an adventure to meet local dolphins. Meet Stu, Nick, and Cheerio, who we found in Palmetto Bay Marina.

Want to know more about Beaufort County dolphins? A new program will connect you with the dolphins that frequent the May River and Port Royal Sound areas, according to a press release from the Coastal Discovery Museum.

Many of these dolphins are tracked by local scientists who name and visit them twice a month. The scientists can tell the dolphins apart through photographs of their dorsal fins.

Lucky, Stumpy, Nacho or Begger could be one of the dolphins you would be assigned through the program. A monthly newsletter would keep you up-to-date on which dolphins were recently spotted by the scientists — working through the USCB’s Lowcountry Dolphin Conservation Program.

Some of the Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins tracked by the group live in the Lowcountry year round. Others migrate to the region during the summer — similar to tourists.

Updates through the program will tell you about the health of the dolphins along with the estuaries where the dolphins live and play.

Sixty percent of the adoption cost will support the scientists in studying the dolphins, the release says. Thirty-percent will fund education programs, exhibits and scholarships through the Coastal Discovery Museum.

There are two levels for the program — Visitor and Resident.

The $50 visitor level assigns you a dolphin that visits the area during the summer, says Rex Garniewicz, museum president and CEO. He said it is likely scientists will run into these dolphins less than the local dolphins but participants in the program will still receive emails updating on all the spotted dolphins.

The local level is $100 and assigns you a dolphin that will likely be seen more often, Garniewicz said. Adopters also will receive a T-shirt.

Those wanting to adopt can download an application here. The application can be emailed to dolphins@coastaldiscovery.org or mailed to Coastal Discovery Museum P.O. 23497, Hilton Head.

Anyone purchasing the program as a gift should note when they would like the adopter to start receiving emails in the application.

Those who love sea turtles can learn more about another local program here.

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