HDR Helps Protect the Plight of Whales
We are working with Naval Facilities Engineering Command Atlantic to better understand how marine species might be impacted by vessel traffic and Navy training in the region.
In the article "Plight of the Whales" in Chesapeake Bay Magazine, it discusses our latest humpback whale monitoring project in the offshore waters adjacent to the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay identifies individual humpbacks using visual surveys, photo identification, biopsy sampling, and behavioral observations. Our scientists are also using satellite tagging to give the team a better understanding of their movements to help determine the cause of their increase in death rates in the region.
"A high percentage of our animals that have been satellite-tagged are spending a considerable amount of time in shipping lanes, about 50 percent of their time for some individuals and even higher for some others," HDR Project Manager Jessica Aschettino says. "We’ve seen more than half of our tagged animals move on the west side of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, which I think has been a surprising find for us all.”