Dolphins in Bayou Texar

It’s not something you see everyday. Pensacola City Councilman Larry B. Johnson had never seen it before.

“I’ve lived on Bayou Texar since 1989,” the city councilman said. “Since I’ve lived here, I’ve never seen dolphins in Bayou Texar.”

Last week, Johnson was visiting Bayview Park, when he spotted a pair of dolphins swimming in the bayou. He backs up his sighting with a witness:  Amy Baldwin, an ecosystem restoration manager with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

Johnson and Baldwin were at the bayou shoreline discussing upcoming restoration efforts with a reporter from a local television station. The DEP agent said that dolphins have not been regular residents in Bayou Texar in recent years.

“Not in my understanding,” Baldwin said. “Not in the last several decades, due to water quality.”

Both Johnson and Baldwin agree that seeing dolphins in the bayou is a good sign. Baldwin said that the dolphins were probably coming into Bayou Texar to feed, which would indicate a fish presence, which would indicate improving water quality.

“It’s something that certainly goes a long way to show there’s a food source in the bayou,” Baldwin said.