Protecting Dolphins, Protecting Ourselves
March 15 Ocean Plaza Coastal Ecology Lecture Series to Explore the Wild Dolphin Population
(TYBEE ISLAND, GA) Peach Hubbard, president of The Dolphin Project, the longest operating dolphin research program in the country staffed entirely by trained volunteers, will be the featured speaker at this month’s Ocean Plaza Beach Resort Coastal Ecology Dinner Lecture Series, Thursday, March 15 at 7 p.m. at the hotel’s Dolphin Reef Oceanfront Restaurant. Hubbard’s lecture will focus on the area’s wild dolphin population. The lecture will be preceded by a wine and cheese reception at 6 p.m. in the Dolphin Reef Bar, and dinner will be served in the Dolphin Reef main dining room at 6:30 p.m. The standard Dolphin Reef dinner menu will be offered. To RSVP, please call 912-786-8400.
The Dolphin Project was founded in 1989 following a mass die-off of dolphins on the Eastern seaboard of the United States. A group of scientists and volunteers began the process of counting the dolphins and photographing their dorsal fins in an attempt to help monitor the health of the dolphins. Bolstered by the knowledge that the well-being of dolphins impacts the well-being of humans, the group has worked tirelessly for more than two decades to collect and share data on dolphins.
During her lecture, Hubbard will talk about dolphin anatomy, their habits and behaviors, the threats faced by the species and the research being conducted by The Dolphin Project. Hubbard will also discuss ways to protect the environment that dolphins and humans share.
About the Coastal Ecology Dinner Lecture Series
Created by Ocean Plaza Beach Resort Innkeeper Harry Spirides, the Coastal Ecology Dinner Lecture Series is held at the resort’s Dolphin Reef Oceanfront Restaurant on the third Thursday of every month and is open to the public. The multimedia lectures, which feature topics pertaining to coastal ecology, are presented by distinguished experts in the field but given in terminology everyone can understand. There is no entry fee or cover charge to attend the presentations. The lectures are preceded by a wine and cheese reception at 6 p.m. in the Dolphin Reef Bar, and the standard dinner menu is served in the Dolphin Reef main dining room at 6:30 p.m. for those attending who are hungry. The Coastal Ecology Lectures begin at 7 p.m. and last for approximately 45 minutes, followed by a 15-minute question-and-answer period.
Spirides created the lecture series after noticing that many of the hotel’s customers, who come from distant inland areas such as North Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio and beyond, have expressed an interest to not only explore Tybee Island and to see, touch, hear, and smell the natural habitat and see native wildlife, but also to be educated and learn all about the area’s living species and ecosystems. To meet that need, Spirides asked relevant organizations in the area such as the Skidaway Island Institute of Oceanography and Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary if they would be interested in presenting monthly lectures on topics related to coastal ecology. They gladly accepted his invitation.
Spirides is a former U.S. Coast Guard officer who patrolled Georgia’s coastline and waterways for several years while on duty. He says it was during those many excursions that he developed a deep appreciation and fondness for the Georgia coast’s vast expanses of undeveloped, pristine natural habitats and the species that live there.
“Our Coastal Ecology Dinner Lectures embrace Tybee Island’s surrounding natural geography and ecology and offer a unique educational experience to our community and its visitors while engaging and spotlighting various organizations that are out there every day doing a lot of hard work for the preservation of our ecosystems and yet receive very little attention and diminishing funding,” Spirides said.
The first lecture was held this past November and was presented by Dr. Marc Frischer of the Skidaway Island Institute of Oceanography. Dr. Frischer’s presentation outlined his extensive efforts to monitor the effect of climate change on the marine ecosystems of the oceans and the melting of the polar ice caps as documented extensively by him at Barrow, Alaska. The second lecture was given by Dr. George Sedberry of Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary. Dr. Sedberry’s topic was “Coral Habitats Off Georgia and Adjacent States: Exploration, Fisheries and Conservation.” The February Coastal Ecology Lecture featured Kris Williams, director of the Caretta Research Project, who discussed the sea turtle population and the reasons why it is dwindling.
There has been a resort hotel continuously operating on the Ocean Plaza Resort property for more than 120 years. The property is located on Tybee Island at 15th Street and oceanfront, about 20 minutes east of historic downtown Savannah. For more information on the Ocean Plaza Beach Resort, call 912-786-7777, email or visit

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