The activities of the Sarasota Dolphin Research Program (SDRP) officially began on October 3, 1970, when the first bottlenose dolphins were tagged by Blair Irvine in Sarasota Bay. The subsequent discovery of long-term, year-round residency of a community of bottlenose dolphins set the stage for the development of an unparalleled program of research, conservation, and education.
Today, the Program conducts cutting-edge research on high-profile animals and their ecosystem, engages with the public and stakeholders through education and outreach, trains tomorrow’s conservationists, and combines these activities to achieve conservation action for dolphins in Sarasota Bay and around the world.
The program leverages these accomplishments by complementing the activities of its small staff with strong collaborations with experts in a variety of scientific fields who have recognized the unique opportunities provided by working in the Sarasota Bay natural laboratory established by the SDRP. Over the course of 50 years of research, we have documented six generations of resident dolphins, through the efforts of three generations of researchers.