Looming budget cuts are threatening the local stranding team formed to respond to mass dolphin die-offs. And amid one of the largest dolphin die-offs in 26 years, stranding teams across the country are pleading for federal funds.Oh my goodness, a landowner would actually have to take care of his own beach? We can't have that; they might start thinking they have some rights there!
Without federal money, the staff of eight would be reduced and there would be fewer people available to respond to strandings.
So far this year, more than 170 dolphins have washed up dead on Virginia’s coastline – mainly in the southern portion of the Chesapeake Bay – in a marked increase from a normal year.
A smaller staff could mean that, wherever a dead dolphin washed up, the landowner would be responsible for disposing of it, said Mark Swingle, director of Research and Conservation at the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center. Before the stranding team was established in the late 1980s, the city used to bury the dolphins.