🔴 A 25th dolphin has stranded itself in the waters of the Jersey Shore since December

🔴 It was badly decomposed and left in the Navesink River

🔴 Monmouth officials on Wednesday will call for an investigation into recent whale and dolphin deaths

SEA BRIGHT — Another dolphin was found floating dead in the water Sunday, the 25th dolphin to be stranded or found dead close to the New Jersey shore.

The Marine Mammal Stranding Center said the bottlenose male dolphin was found in the Navesink River off Orchard Place. It was badly decomposed and was left in the water by the center's team.

Sea Bright Mayor Brian Kelly supports the Monmouth County Commissioners' call for an investigation into the 16 whales and over two dozen dolphins and porpoises that have stranded themselves on New Jersey and New York beaches since December. Director Tom Arnone will be joined by Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J. 4th District, and State Assemblyman Gerry Scharfenberger (D-13).

Recent dolphin strandings off the New Jersey shore
Recent dolphin strandings off the New Jersey shore (Canva)

Many environmentalists, mayors and legislators have called for an investigation into the connection to water project construction.

"I do think it's a good idea to further investigate. I know they're doing autopsies on all the mammals they've found but you know, as they say, I don't believe in coincidences," the Republican told New Jersey 101.5. "There's quite an uptick between the whales and the dolphins. I think it's worth taking a closer look at what's really causing it all."

While Gov. Phil Murphy insists that scientific evidence shows no connection, NOAA, one of the agencies he has cited, issued an updated opinion Tuesday.

NOAA determined the project by Danish wind power company Orsted “is likely to adversely affect, but is not likely to jeopardize, the continued existence of any species” of endangered whales, sea turtles and other animals. Nor is it likely to “destroy or adversely modify any designated critical habitat.”

NOAA and other agencies have said many of the dead whales appear to have been struck by ships or entangled in fishing gear, emphasizing there is no evidence linking offshore wind production and whale deaths.

(Includes material copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Dan Alexander is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at dan.alexander@townsquaremedia.com

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