While we strive to reach our funding goal to be able to complete the analysis of our contaminant dataset, we have managed to analyse a subset of the samples from our wild dolphin population for mercury. All samples confirm that the mercury load for our dolphins is high.
Methylmercury, the largest component of the mercury readings in our samples, is a worldwide contaminant of seafood and freshwater fish and it is well known for causing adverse nervous system effects, which can hit the brain during the development phase. Like humans, dolphins pass their mercury load, acquired through food, from the mother to the calf in utero.
The recommended mercury exposure, according to the National Research Council and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 0.1 parts per million, and all of our dolphins are above this value (average 1.83 parts per million for 19 dolphins tested). We are concerned with this and continue to monitor the longevity and health parameters of neonate dolphins through photographic documentation and behavioral observation.
We continue to ask for your support to be able to conduct a complete analysis of our currently in house biopsy samples to identify other chemicals that may be affecting these animals.
We are grateful to all of you for believing in us.
Dear Family and Friends,
thank you so much for your support during our first Challenge Drive. Because of your support we were able to become a part of the Global Giving family of projects and to have a chance to be viewed by other supporters. Our goal right now is to be able, first and foremost, to send dolphin kin and blubber samples to a lab for analysis of contaminants. This is a critical step and the first step necessary to be able to understand the level of contamination of our dolphins, and what type of compounda are most prevalent.
We have over forty samples already collected from dolphins we have a know history for and we are ready to spring into action and send the samples to an analytical lab. However, we need more help to be able to do this. We have raised about $5000 so far with your help. The cost of each sample is approximately $1500, and can be higher if only a single sample at a time is sent. We need to raise money for at least 10 samples for us to proceed with analysis.
We are well on our way to our first goal of at least $15,000 to be able to start the project. We are continuing to rely on your generosity to make this happen.
Please find attached a report outlining our current research and the history of the project. It will help you understand where we are coming from and where we are going. Okeanis was founded in 2006, but the California Coastal Dolphin Project dates back to 1990 and has been an ongoing effort. Many people have contributed to making the project what it is today, and we are proud of our accomplishments. In the year 2013, we would like to expand our efforts and finish some of the work we started long ago. In the attached PDF "California Coastal Dolphin: A report" you will find the highlights of some of the research we have been engaged in and an outlook at what we would like to accomplish in the future. I hope you will enjoy reading this report.
Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.
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