Christian Paz

Dolphins in the Potomac? Scientists Want Your Help Naming Two New Critters

The deadline to submit a name is May 24

You may be able to look out for dolphins the next time you head to the Georgetown Waterfront.

Scientists from the Potomac Conservancy and the Potomac-Chesapeake Dolphin Project announced the sighting of two new Potomac River dolphins and want the public's help naming the sea mammals.

The two bottlenose dolphins spotted in the Potomac River are some of more than 1,000 dolphins that have been identified and named swimming in the river and the Chesapeake Bay.

According to Potomac Conservancy, there could be thousands of dolphins swimming in the Potomac and Chesapeake as they migrate from the Atlantic Ocean to spend the warmer summer months in the Potomac.

"People actually forgot that there were dolphins in the river because they hadn't been seen since the 1880s and because the river was in poor condition, people weren't seeing them," Melissa Diemand, a spokesperson for Potomac Conservancy, said.

Most have been named, like George, Lyndon and Pelosi, and the organization is waiting for public suggestions.

"Of course we've gotten a few Dolphin McDolphinFaces," Diemand said.

Potomac Conservancy said the return of cleaner water and healthy fish native to the Potomac may encourage the sea mammals to move further upstream.

"We believe that a return to clean water in the Potomac River is going to help the dolphins swim further upstream and continue to fish in our hometown river," Diemand said.

So it's time to flip out, the Potomac Conservancy said, and submit a name. The deadline to submit names for the final selection for the public voting contest is May 24.

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