🔴 The dolphin was found at the Rutgers Cape Shore Laboratory

🔴 What caused the dolphin's death?

🔴 An Assembly committee holds a "science-based" hearing about the recent marine deaths

MIDDLE TOWNSHIP — The 30th dolphin since December has washed up on a New Jersey beach.

The Marine Mammal Stranding Center told New Jersey 101.5 that a bottlenose dolphin, a dependent calf, was found at Rutgers Cape Shore Laboratory in the Cape May Court House section of Middle Township along Delaware Bay on Wednesday.

The dolphin, which was already dead when it was found, was brought to the New Jersey Animal Health Diagnostic Laboratory in Ewing for a necropsy to determine a cause of death.

The dolphin joins a long list of dolphins and whales that have been found stranded on beaches on the Jersey Shore.

No cause for the increase has been identified but a group of Shore mayors led by Reps. Chris Smith, R-N.J. 4th District, and Jeff Van Drew, R-N.J. 2nd District, have asked for a pause to work on wind power projects to investigate whether or not related sonar mapping is to blame.

Most recent dolphins stranded on New Jersey beaches
Most recent dolphins stranded on New Jersey beaches (Canva)

Murphy: Climate change, not wind energy projects to blame

Gov. Phil Murphy is on the opposite side that says NOAA and marine biologists have not proven a connection and instead blame climate change and increased shipping traffic.

"We remain in receipt of no information with correlates sonar activity in the deaths of these whales and dolphins. We take it very seriously. The feds have been taking the lead on this more than we have," Gov. Phil Murphy said on News 12 New Jersey on Monday.

The Assembly Science, Innovation and Technology Committee holds a "science-based" hearing Thursday about the strandings and their possible connection to wind power projects.

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

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