Wild Dolphin Project
Shaklee Supports the Wild Dolphin Project and Healthier Oceans
Shaklee Corporation has supported the Wild Dolphin Project (WDP), a nonprofit organization dedicated to the study, understanding, and preservation of dolphins and their natural habitat for 22 years. Shaklee and WDP both share a deep respect for the environment and recognize the impact human behavior can have on marine life.
Akin to dolphins that never really sleep (dolphins switch off half of their brain at a time to rest), the Wild Dolphin Project has been tireless in its study of both Atlantic spotted (Stenella frontalis) and bottlenose (Tursiops truncatus) dolphins, spending every moment of good weather on the open ocean since 1985. Through noninvasive techniques, WDP researchers study each species’ underwater behavior, vocalizations, social structure, kinship associations, and genetics. This long-term study of dolphin groups or pods in their natural habitat has yielded an unprecedented amount of data, making WDP one of the most extensive archival resources on multigenerational histories and underwater behavior of spotted and bottlenose dolphins in the world.
Climate Change Impacts Oceans and Marine Life
There is some concern by WDP researchers about the recent frequency of hurricanes and fluctuations in water temperature in the Bahamas – one of the only places in the world where both spotted and bottlenose dolphins can be observed together and underwater. “Hurricanes Frances, Jeanne and Wilma wiped out a lot of island vegetation and may have had an effect on underwater prey distribution in the area,” says Cindy Rogers. “We have also noticed in recent years that the water gets hotter earlier in the season than what used to be considered normal.” WDP states they saw up to 40 percent fewer of their recurring dolphins in 2005 and hypothesize that the dolphins may have moved to other areas in an attempt to avoid future hurricanes, or were fatalities of the storm. In addition to the challenges of socializing with new dolphins and acclimating to a new habitat, the dolphins’ move could affect prey/food abundance and distribution.
A Day in the Life of a Dolphin Researcher
For four to five months every hot, humid summer, researchers embark on a seemingly endless series of 10-day trips near the Bahamas on a 62-foot power catamaran, Stenella. Close living quarters are the norm, as there are about seven to 10 people on board for each trip, including researchers, students, and long-time supporters and volunteers. Each long day begins at sunup with the first team beginning Dolphin Watch; watch teams rotate on and off every hour. In the meantime, other team members are busy logging data and photos and updating dolphin identification and census records. If dolphins are spotted, snorkelers often go into the water equipped with recording equipment, careful to maintain an observational, nonintrusive role. Sundown provides the first break, then dinner at 8:00 p.m. Video footage of the day’s dolphin monitoring is screened and logged after the meal. Weary researchers crawl into bed around 9:00 or 10:00 p.m. to catch some rest before starting again the next day.
Shaklee Products for Sun and Sea
Long days of exposure to hot sun and drying salt water make skin protection essential for WDP researchers, who depend on Shaklee Enfuselle® SPF 30 for Body, Enfuselle® Hand & Body Lotion, and Enfuselle® Lip Treatment SPF 15 to maintain skin health. In addition, because everyone lives in close quarters while on board, NutriFeron® and Shaklee Basics® are popular supplements to help keep immune systems in top form. Equally important is Get Clean®, the natural cleaning products that help keep the boat spotless and do not harm the environment when cleaning water is thrown overboard. “We use Shaklee products because we trust the Shaklee environmental code,” says Cindy Rogers, research assistant, WDP. “Everything from Shaklee is gentle on the environment we care so much about.”
Wild Dolphin Project Objectives – Present and Future
WDP’s long-term mission is to record and study the natural history of two specific pods of Atlantic spotted and bottlenose dolphins. The team sees many of the same dolphins annually and, as a result, is able to record data on amazingly complex social structures, interspecies interaction, sibling associations, gender differences, and signature whistles -- which is possibly how dolphins identify each other. One of the most promising research areas was made possible by the development of new computer and video equipment that can record high-frequency sounds beyond the range of human ears. WDP researchers will now have a new understanding of how vocalizations are interpreted by other dolphins – now that they know they are “talking” more than was previously thought. WDP researchers also hope to leverage new technology to bridge the communication gap between dolphins and humans.
When it’s not at sea, WDP efforts focus on education on dolphins and the importance of caring for our oceans. WDP staff speak at countless conferences worldwide on these topics, while also making time to give lectures at schools, groups, and clubs.
How You Can Help
“We all impact the health of the ocean by our own behavior,” says Dr. Denise Herzing, WDP founder. “We need to be conscious of our footprint on a personal and global level. Shaklee helps in a big way by making it easy for people to choose products that are OK for the environment.”
Here are some recommendations for simple ways to help care for our environment:
- Reduce garbage production -- Try to reuse or recycle first, and consider throwing items away as a last resort. For example, donate old books to a local library or friends. Purchase goods with less or recycled packaging. Bring your own bags to the grocery store.
- Think before you throw/let go -- Old balloons and plastic bottles are some of the most common items WDP researchers find floating in the ocean, especially after holidays. When you release a helium balloon or drop a soda bottle on the street, where does it go? Hold tight and dispose of these items properly.
- Educate others -- Encourage your friends and coworkers to adopt a more environmentally responsible lifestyle.
- Clean Up Your Act -- Use nontoxic, concentrated cleaners. Try Get Clean® the new natural line of cleaners from Shaklee that’s safe for you, your home and the planet™. Switching from conventional cleaners to a Get Clean Starter Kit is the environmental equivalent to planting 10 trees.
- Got A Green Tip? -- Send your environmental tips to email@example.com. We’ll update this section with additional tips regularly.
Wild Dolphin Project
Denise Herzing, Founder on Shaklee Products
“We use Shaklee products because we trust the Shaklee environmental code,” says Cindy Rogers research assistant, Wild Dolphin Project. “Everything from Shaklee is gentle on the environment we care so much about.”
“We all impact the health of the ocean by our own behavior,” says Dr. Denise Herzing, Wild Dolphin Project founder. “We need to be conscious of our footprint on a personal and global level. Shaklee helps in a big way by making it easy for people to choose products that are ok for the environment.”