by Okeanis


There are only 600+ California coastal bottlenose dolphins living between San Diego and San Francisco. These dolphins live up to 80 years and spend their entire life in the surf zone within 500 yards from shore. They are sentinels of environmental health and are ambassadors for our coastline. Help us keep them healthy by helping us understand the threats they face along the highly populated and polluted California coast and let their lives educate us all about the importance of our coastlines.
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California coastal bottlenose dolphins are live toxic-dumps! Because they live close to shore they are victim of man-made pollutants in the ocean which they accumulate in their blubber through the food chain. Because they eat the same type of fish humans consume, their story is our story. We are measuring contaminant levels in dolphins and gaining an understanding of the health issues they face. With hard data at hand we can speak loudly about coastal pollution.


We will provide evidence of contamination in our coastal waters and document the consequences through the story of individual dolphins we have been following since 1990. We will put together a compelling documentary of our findings. In a second stage, we will measure contamination in fish and tie dolphins and humans together, in a struggle for a cleaner environment. Dolphins will be our advocates in the ocean and they will act as ambassadors to ocean creatures and humans living along the coast.

Long-Term Impact

We will place 600 California bottlenose dolphins on the map as animals facing potential fatal consequences from human pollution. We will initiate a grass-root movement for cleaner coastlines using the dolphins as advocates for California. We will understand the ties between contaminants in the ocean and skin conditions, incidence of abortions, and survival rates in coastal dolphins. We will tie dolphin contamination with coastal fish contamination, which is a threat to human health as well.

Additional Documentation

This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).


California Coastal Dolphin Project Website
Our non-profit official website
Our Chief Scientist's personal website

Organization Information


Location: Moss Landing, CA - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Daniela Maldini
Moss Landing, CA United States

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