For years, the river was full of industrial waste from factories in the area
Over five years ago, a dolphin looking for fish in the Bronx River in New York City wasn’t a strange sight to see. But because of waste in the water dumped by nearby factories, the dolphins left the river and hadn’t been seen since. Now, the dolphins are back, indicating that the water quality of the river has improved greatly.
Last Monday, a pair of dolphins was spotted in the waters of the New York’s Bronx River. A sight that surprised the people that spotted them. That is because the area hadn’t seen dolphins for over five years. When factories nearby used the river to dump industrial waste, the dolphins left. But in the past years, the amount of factories in the area has decreased. After the surrounding municipalities agreed to not use the river to dump sewage, there has been an increase in the number of dolphins spotted in the area. This is the first time in five years that the mammals have been seen swimming in the river.
The parks department was overjoyed. They tweeted: “This is great news – it shows that the decades-long effort to restore the river as a healthy habitat is working. We believe these dolphins naturally found their way to the river in search of fish.”
Authorities have been working to lure dolphins to the river by stocking it with fish. Howard Rosenbaum, dolphin expert at the Wildlife Conservation Society told The Guardian: “We’ve come a long way across multiple decades of environmental improvement, water quality cleaning, better environmental stewardship, better relations, all of which helps the overall environment and then leads to recovery of these systems. I think it’s just great that these things are happening and hopefully the overall environmental recovery for these urban waterways continues, and we continue to see marine wildlife – their habitats, their prey – flourish.” According to the expert, the dolphins were “common” and they seemed to be healthy, not at all in distress.
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Source: The Guardian, Gothamist | Image: Unsplash, Jonas Von Werne