Dolphin deaths have Christie diving in to help
August 29th, 2013
01:24 PM ET
11 months ago

Dolphin deaths have Christie diving in to help

(CNN) - Rebuilding after last fall's Superstorm Sandy isn't the only reason Gov. Chris Christie has his mind on the Jersey shore.

The New Jersey Republican is putting his state's environmental protection agency behind an investigation into the spike of dolphin deaths up and down the East Coast.

His state is deploying additional aircraft and increasing patrols, the agency said, to monitor the waters for stranded bottlenose dolphins and to help recover them. They will also pump additional resources into lab testing of the carcasses.

"We're not going to watch as more dolphins die along the Shore," Christie posted online Thursday. "Today we're taking actions to figure out the problem."

Federal officials said at least 30 of the nearly 500 dolphins found dead from New York to North Carolina were infected with naturally-occurring cetacean morbillivirus. It is similar to measles in humans and is spread by direct contact between the animals or through the air.

It does not infect humans, they said, but still advised beach-goers to stay away from the dead dolphins, in part because sharks sometimes feed on the bodies.

The number of reported dolphin deaths is about 300 greater than usual for a summer in the region, officials say.

Twelve infected dolphins were found along the New Jersey coast and tests are pending on more of the 74 which have washed up there since July 9, said Bob Schoelkopf of the Marine Mammal Stranding Center.

The New Jersey effort is funded in part by a $92,000 federal grant from the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration, the state said.

Officials say they are working to determine if there are other factors behind the die-off.

– CNN's Laura Ly contributed to this report


Filed under: Chris Christie • New Jersey
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Fair is Fair

    First one to put up a "whale helps dolphin" comment gets a cookie.

    August 29, 2013 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    Urgh.. Here come the "whale on the beach" jokes" Sorry, Governer. It's not my fault.

    August 29, 2013 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  3. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    What a sad story.
    Good to see that something is being done to find out how these beautiful creatures are catching this infection.
    Speaking of creatures and sad(ness), it is equally sad to see how the GOP machinery is spoon feeding us Christie well ahead of handing him the primary (if he runs) for 2016.
    Yeah I said handing him the primary. Do you NOT remember how they told the rest of the clowns in the GOP Clown Car to shut up, sit down and clap everytime Romney entered a room?
    Act like you know.
    Chris Christie: the GOP's Great White Whale of a Hope for 2016.
    DOA.

    August 29, 2013 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  4. Winston Smith

    If he's a licensed vet., it's fine. If not, leave the saving to those with the knowledge. Stop posing for the camera.

    August 29, 2013 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  5. Thomas

    What is killing dolphins , why are dolphins dying ?

    Look in the mirror big boy !
    Tooooo many people on a little planet , Mitt Romney 20 grandchildren .

    August 29, 2013 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  6. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Fair is Fair

    First one to put up a "whale helps dolphin" comment gets a cookie.
    -------------------------------------------------
    But wait! Wouldn't that in fact be you Fair?!
    Give the little lady her Oreo!

    August 29, 2013 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  7. Revolution

    We still feeling the affects of Obama s oil spill! :)

    August 29, 2013 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  8. GI Joe

    Oh Dear – it looks as though it died crying tears of blood.

    Medical waste is poured into the ocean up there. Actual cases of hypodermic needles found. And other disgusting "waste". We need more clean water regulations, not fewer.

    August 29, 2013 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  9. Name jk. Sfl. GOP conservatives,the garbage of America.

    Christi is the best GOP govenor in the country, the only one that takes care of ALL his residents . I bet bland doesn't even know what a dolphin is,bland should keep his mouth shut, he's starting to sound like the five time loser for public office Romney the tax cheat, babbling before he has any facts, bland is a total GOP clown who will never win a national election.

    August 29, 2013 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |