urban fauna

There Are Dolphins in the Bronx River

Photo: @NYCParks

As New Yorkers experience another pleasantly horrifying 50-degree January day, the Parks Department has some actually good ecological news: Dolphins were spotted in the Bronx River. And while maybe you don’t want to swim there, Parks views their presence as a sign that the “decades-long effort to restore the river as a healthy habitat is working.” Great! I choose to believe them!

City dolphins are increasingly a thing, it seems. As the New York Times reported this summer, the frequency of sightings across city waterways has been increasing due in part to a resurgence of bunker and dolphin-attracting sea life (good) and warming waters (less good).

Experts say that as more dolphins are hanging out in and around New York Harbor, boating enthusiasts (and mammoth-bone hunters) need to learn how to share the road to avoid injuring their marine-mammal neighbors. The pandemic saw a new wave of people out on the water, testing “their ability to drive a boat,” Maxine Montello of the New York Marine Rescue Center told the Times. “It can be scary out there.”

But — welcome, dolphins! If you can’t find enough fish in the Bronx River, maybe check out El Culichi, a recent favorite of Grub Street’s Tammie Teclemariam.

There Are Dolphins in the Bronx River