Outer Banks Center for Dolphin Research

The Outer Banks Center for Dolphin Research, established in November 2008, is a 501 c(3) non-profit organization engaged in a long-term photo-identification study of bottlenose dolphins in the northern Outer Banks of North Carolina.

Our research is a continuation of a photo-identification study conducted for more than 11 years aboard the Nags Head Dolphin Watch. We seek to learn more about the population ecology, movement patterns, and behavior of coastal bottlenose dolphins in the Outer Banks and to expand public knowledge and concern for these marine mammals.

Our scientists also collaborate with other marine mammal scientists along the western Atlantic coast in order to further understand their long-range movement patterns.

The Outer Banks Center for Dolphin Research needs your help in reporting dolphin sightings throughout the Outer Banks! Click here for more information about reporting your sightings and contributing to local dolphin research.

The Dare Education Foundation recently awarded a grant to the Outer Banks Center for Dolphin Research, NC Aquarium, and Jennette’s Pier to teach a dolphin math activity to local 8th grade students based upon real data collected in Roanoke Sound! For more information, click here!

Interested in volunteering with the Outer Banks Center for Dolphin Research? We are currently seeking volunteers and will be holding volunteer trainings this spring! Click here for more information!

Our 2017 newsletter is now available! Click here to check out what’s new with the Outer Banks Center for Dolphin Research.

Looking for the perfect gift? Our Adopt a Dolphin Kits make great presents while supporting dolphin conservation in the Outer Banks! Click here to learn how to sponsor an Outer Banks dolphin!

A new article about the Outer Banks dolphins has recently been published in My Outer Banks Home magazine! Click here to check it out!

The Outer Banks Center for Dolphin Research collects opportunistic photo-identification data aboard the Nags Head Dolphin Watch, while conducting educational programs about local dolphin conservation. Click here to see the 2016 on board photo-identification catalog!

The new dolphin conservation signs are finished and on display at the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island and Jennette’s Pier.  These signs were made possible by a grant from The Outer Banks Community Foundation and matching contribution by the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island and Jennette’s Pier. Click here to learn more about the signs and be sure to visit the NC Aquarium in Manteo and Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head, NC to view the signs this summer!

In summer 2013, coastal bottlenose dolphins along the U.S. east coast experienced an unusual mortality event where record numbers of dolphins stranded along the beaches. The event reached the Outer Banks, NC in August 2013. For more information about these strandings, click here. The Outer Banks Marine Mammal Stranding Response Team responds to marine mammals strandings from Currituck County, NC south through Hyde County, NC. For more information on how to report a marine mammal stranding in the Outer Banks, click here.


Looking to learn more about dolphins in the Outer Banks? Join us on FaceBook at Onion, A North Carolina Dolphin for updates on the Outer Banks dolphins this summer!