Shrewsbury River Dolphins Signal Cleaner Rivers, More Fish

Dolphins are now frequent visitors to the Shrewsbury and Navesink Rivers in New Jersey, indicating a healthier environment.


In what has become an increasingly common occurrence, bottlenose dolphins have taken up seasonal residence in New Jersey’s Shrewsbury River. Dolphins were observed in the river throughout this past summer.

Since November 2020, sightings of three dolphins, which are small and possibly juveniles, have been reported to our Marine Mammal Stranding Network partner for New Jersey, the Marine Mammal Stranding Center. As of January 14, these dolphins are reportedly swimming freely and in good body condition.

The sight of surfacing dolphins in the river delights area residents and biologists alike. Bottlenose dolphins historically visited Sandy Hook Bay, the Shrewsbury River, and the Navesink River. They may have become a less-frequent sight as water quality and fish populations fluctuated. Now, with cleaner waters, carefully managed fisheries, and increasing menhaden (small schooling fish also known as bunker), we are seeing more marine mammals in our coastal waters.

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