“Environmental Leadership” is the third element of the Institute’s strategy that acts to connect and strengthen our overall work. With over 25 years of dolphin research - we know our resident dolphins through fin identification and regular surveys; our data-base is extensive and ever-expanding! We also know that our supporters feel proud of our work. It is a tangible way for them to be able to say "Yes, I'm helping these dolphins now, and for their future."
DRI began in the late 1980's by people who were concerned about the local dolphins and their marine environment. The Institute has grown in to the well-managed, sustainable, not-for-profit conservation organisation that is the 'go-to' organisation for just about all-things dolphin in Victoria.
- Acting internally to guide our:
- research programs to build over a quarter of a century of research to not only develop the national dolphin health project, but also ask questions relevant to management, and develop the next generation of scientists;
- education programs to shape perceptions and behaviour: to build environmental stewardship for our southern marine treasures with a whole ecosystem and catchment view from young and old;
- ‘i sea, i care’ Ambassador program to work with young leaders who deliver relevant environmental messages for our partners and wide community.
- Acting externally to influence environmental stewardship, policy and decision making through:
- Creating opportunities for the community to become involved such as the Walk for Western Port and Community Dolphin Monitoring Proroject;
- Being active as a leader in the community and media in marine and coastal matters;
- Participating in environmental forums and processes. For example; Port Phillip Environmental Management Plan Review, State of the Bays Reporting, Port of Hastings Environmental Reference Panel, Port Phillip Channel Deepening EES, Cleaner Yarra and Bay Plan, Victorian Coastal Strategy development, Regional Coastal Plan development, and Review of Victorian Coastal Act;
- Developing strong partnerships and associations with agencies, organisations and individuals with common and complementary interests and roles;
- Membership of key entities: Central Coastal Board, Western Port Biosphere, Western Port Catchment Committee, National Whales Roundtable.
There is no other organisation quite like the Dolphin Research Institute. We have provided a sustained contribution to scientific understanding, marine education and environmental leadership over a quarter of a century.
DRI is a recipient of the following awards:
- National Banksia Environmental Award (Marine and Coastal Category) (1997);
- Victorian Coastal Award of Excellence (Species Protection) ( 2002);
- Leader Newspapers Sustainable Business Award (2007);
- Victorian Coastal Award of Excellence (Environmental Partnerships) (2013).
Find out about our southern marine treasures and what we are doing to manage them HERE.