Few things in life are as genuinely remarkable and inspiring as sharing the water with an Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin. What happens when our two worlds meet is something magical, something that can’t be read in a book or understood by watching a movie. What’s forged is a beautiful, meaningful and tangible connection that is undeniable and unforgettable.
Those who experience a Dolphin’s Plus interaction leave with more than lifetime memories; they leave with a lifetime appreciation for dolphins and a far better understanding of our marine environment. We are proud and privileged to bring our guests closer to these amazing mammals because we know that awareness and understanding are what fuel action and change. Our programs bridge the gap for people, inspiring them to champion marine mammal conservation and environmental stewardship in their own lives, which directly impacts the lives of dolphins and other animals in our oceans.
THE EXPERIENCE IS FUN. THE MISSION IS SERIOUS.
Marylou Wright, Assistant Director of Education at Dolphins Plus, proudly tells those she educates about our mission. “The goal of Dolphins Plus is to create connections through experiential learning that inspire people to become Ocean Ambassadors, individuals who are deeply concerned with the protection of marine mammals and all the creatures in our oceans.”
Interactions at Dolphins Plus are most definitely a lot of fun. However, to meet our mission, each one is also an immersive educational experience. Guests learn about dolphin physiology and behavior. They learn about marine ecology and things they can do in their own lives to help protect this fragile ecosystem. They’re introduced to dolphins and the ocean in a way that goes far beyond just having fun, and delves deeply into understanding and appreciating the awe-inspiring beauty and incredible intelligence of these amazing creatures, and the responsibility we all have to protect and preserve their ocean home.
Whether it’s a deep-water swim or a dockside encounter, every guest at Dolphins Plus benefits from a comprehensive education program before they meet their new friends. What’s more, we offer a host of additional programs, from grade school to college-level courses, for any guests interested in learning more about dolphins and other marine mammals, ocean ecology, and marine science.
OUR NATURAL TIDAL-FED HOMES
There are two Dolphins Plus facilities, and both of them make use of Mother Nature to provide our dolphins with truly unspoiled natural habitats. Our dolphins thrive in tidal-fed homes filled with fish, lobsters, plants and all sorts of marine life. These homes aren’t crafted from steel and cement, but rather from the wonders of nature – mangroves, seawater and sunshine.
This makes a tremendous difference for our dolphins and for our guests. The experiences that happen here are genuine and organic, because the connections are forged in a wonderfully natural habitat. We believe this is one of the most significant differences in our Dolphins Plus programs. It’s part of what makes our interactions so powerful and the memories our guests leave with so permanent.
WE PROUDLY AND FIRMLY ADHERE TO THE HIGHEST STANDARDS.
Every trainer, vet and staff member at Dolphins Plus holds dear the responsibility we have to the dolphins in our care. Their health, happiness and safety are our top priorities, and to that end, we exceed the highest standards set forth by the Federal Government, State of Florida, and organizations around the nation that champion marine, environmental and wildlife care and conservation. We operate in good standing within the Marine Mammal Protection act of 1972 and are regulated by the National Marine Fisheries Service. We also operate Dolphins Plus Marine Mammal Responder, the only marine mammal rescue organization covering the 10,000 square miles area at the Florida Keys, responding to stranded and injured dolphins, whales and marine mammals at a moment’s notice.
THE MAGIC OF THE MOMENT
There’s no question that the critical information we learn from the dolphins in our care directly impacts our understanding and the preservation of dolphins in the wild. Still, nothing does more than the sheer joy and sense of wonder we see on the faces of our guests every day. For so many, this is the only opportunity they’ll ever have to enjoy a close encounter with a dolphin. For some, it’s even a rarity to spend time near the ocean.
Our dolphin encounters fill people with a sense of awe, respect and love for these amazing mammals. Many of our young guests will be the one’s shaping tomorrow’s world. By bringing them closer to dolphins, we’re helping to create a generation of concerned, active and environmentally conscious citizens. People who will continue to advance the global conversation necessary to protect and preserve nature, our oceans, marine mammals, and all creatures. Of this, we are immensely proud.
Sometimes, taking a closer look changes the big picture altogether. This is what we see every day at Dolphins Plus.