Vote now: Names needed for 2 Potomac River dolphins

The voting to name two dolphins discovered in the Potomac River is heading into the final round.

The Potomac Conservancy and the Potomac-Chesapeake Dolphin Project last month announced that nominations were open to pick names for the bottlenose dolphins they’re currently calling D1 and D2.

After more than 3,200 entries, the conservancy said Monday that they’ve been winnowed down to 10 finalists:

  • Rachel Carson and Sylvia Earle, two renowned biologists — as a bonus, Carson, best known as the author of the environmentalist classic “Silent Spring,” was a native of Silver Spring.
  • Mac and Chessie, after the Potomac and Chesapeake, where the dolphins spend the summer months, of course;
  • Powhatan and Piscataway, after two of the indigenous tribes of the Potomac region;
  • Ebb and Flow, a reference for all the tidal enthusiasts out there;
  • Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass, two of the nation’s foremost abolitionists, both of whom were born in Maryland;
  • Echo and Radar, referring to the way dolphins use echolocation to “see with sound”;
  • Aldo Leopold and Wendell Berry, two prominent environmental writers;
  • Cherry and Blossom, in reference to the iconic trees around the Tidal Basin;
  • Madeleine Paddlin’ Albright and Colin Divin’ Powell, because secretaries of State and rhyming nicknames always go well together; and
  • Benjamin Banneker and Pierre L’Enfant, two of the people who did most to literally shape D.C. when the city was being laid out, starting in 1791.

You can find out more about the namesakes and vote on the conservancy website by June 14.

There are more dolphins in the Potomac than you might think — the conservancy said more than 1,000 have been sighted in the Potomac and the Chesapeake Bay, and they’ve started to have babies.

And, while they’re not exactly frolicking behind the Lincoln Memorial, as humanity cleans up its act (and the waters of the river), they have occasionally been seen as far north as the Harry Nice Bridge. In the 1880s, the conservancy said they made it up to Alexandria, Virginia.

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