All this time later after the pandemic and nature is still healing.
On Wednesday, two common dolphins were spotted in Whale Creek, a body of water adjacent to Newtown Creek and the Newtown Creek Wastewater Resource Recovery Facility, near Greenpoint.
The Newtown Creek Alliance posted the news on its Instagram, noting that it received a message from a lucky passerby at the Newtown Creek Nature Walk who caught two dolphins near the Grand Street bridge on video.
Watch below to see them:
View this post on Instagram
Newtown Creek is part of the Hudson Estuary, flowing west for 3.8 miles between Queens and Brooklyn and emptying into the East River, the Alliance says. It’s made up of small branches—Dutch Kills, Maspeth Creek, Whale Creek, the East Branch, and English Kills—and its natural depth was 12 feet, but today it can be as shallow as 4 feet.
The amazing sighting is more evidence that we need to keep our waters clean, according to the Alliance.
“Sightings like this are just another reminder of the need to rid Newtown Creek of historical toxins, oil seeps, sewage overflow, and floatable debris,” it said in its IG post.
Earlier this week on Monday, two dolphins (it’s not clear if they are the same ones) were sighted near Starlight Park in the Bronx. NYC Parks tweeted that they likely found their way there in search of fish. Every year, Parks restocks the Bronx River with alewife and other fish to restore the river.
“This is great news—it shows that the decades-long effort to restore the river as a healthy habitat is working,” NYC Parks tweeted.
It’s true—dolphins were spotted in the Bronx River this week! This is great news—it shows that the decades-long effort to restore the river as a healthy habitat is working. We believe these dolphins naturally found their way to the river in search of fish.— NYC Parks (@NYCParks) January 19, 2023
(Video: Nick Banco) pic.twitter.com/40ZNgBjJZs
Both the Alliance and NYC Parks reminded folks to keep an eye out for dolphins in the area and not to try to feed or touch them—they are protected marine mammals.
As the name suggests, common dolphins are the most abundant aquatic mammal in the world, but they are not the same as the beloved bottlenose dolphin. They’re considered medium-sized dolphins, weighing about 170 pounds, and mostly live in shallow, warm coastal water, feasting on fish and squid.
Here in New York, common dolphins are usually seen off the south shore of Long Island during the warm summer months when the water is productive, according to the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation.
Last August, we reported another dolphin sighting in the Hudson River, where they were filmed “playing” with kayakers.
The Wildlife Conservation Society has been studying why dolphin populations have been rebounding in our waters, according to the New York Times, and has found that they have been dining on fish mostly in the Lower Bay off Staten Island, but some in the Upper Bay, closer to Manhattan, just off Brooklyn, usually late summer into the fall.