Nature groups ask public to name 2 Potomac River dolphins

Dolphins in D.C.? Not quite. But there are more dolphins in the Potomac River than you might think, and two local groups are holding a contest to name two of them.

The Potomac-Chesapeake Dolphin Project and the Potomac Conservancy are looking for the public’s ideas on what to name two of the more than 1,000 dolphins that have been sighted in the Potomac and the Chesapeake Bay.

Right now, they’re known as just D1 and D2: They can be distinguished by their dorsal fins, they’re adults, as far as the conservancy can tell, and they’ve been seen in larger groups:

And that’s where you come in. You’ve got until May 24 to nominate a pair of names; the groups will narrow the submissions down to 10 pairs of names that they’ll then put out for a public vote in June. You can cast your vote on the conservancy’s site.

They said in a news release that they’ll give preference to “names that relate to the Potomac River, local outdoor places, the environment, or in tribute to environmental leaders.”

Most of the dolphins are around the mouth of the river, but as the Potomac gets cleaner, they’re starting to head north — some have been sighted near the Harry Nice Bridge. The conservancy’s site said that in the 1880s dolphins were once seen all the way up in Alexandria, Virginia.

And, as today’s dolphins head further upstream, the conservancy said they’re starting to see the only thing cuter than dolphins — baby dolphins.

The conservancy is encouraging people to “flip out” over this news — a joke I’m glad I don’t have to be the one to make but don’t necessarily disagree with.

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