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UNF biology faculty speaks at City’s Safe Boating Week and Manatee Protection Awareness event

Dr. Quincy Gibson standing at a podiumThe City of Jacksonville held a Safe Boating Week and Manatee Protection Awareness event at Friendship Fountain on Friday.  

Dr. Quincy Gibson, University of North Florida Dolphin Research Team director and biology associate professor, was a guest speaker at the event along with representatives from the Mayor’s Office, Coast Guard, North Florida Marine Association, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Waterways Commission, Jacksonville University and others.  

Gibson, who has been studying local dolphins with the UNF Dolphin Research Team since 2011, spoke about the recent increase in dolphins being killed by boat strikes in the St. Johns River. Awareness is especially important this time of year as dolphin breeding season is from April through October. There are twice as many dolphins in the river and newborn calves have not yet mastered their swimming and diving skills making them unable to effectively avoid boats.  

Gibson encourages boaters to slow down and keep a continuous lookout for wildlife.  

Also, the UNF Dolphin Research Team will present their dolphin research in November in Australia at the international 25th Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals. Anyone interested in helping support the team’s research and the trip can do so here