Stunning video shows the breathtaking moments a dolphin breached the surface of the East River near the Upper East Side on Tuesday — spray from the marine mammal’s blowhole and its visible dorsal fin captivating spectators who spotted the dolphin on Tuesday, the third day it was seen in the area.
Longtime Upper East Side resident John Scheer, who shared his video of the sighting with Upper East Site, described the dolphin sighting in the river near East 92nd Street as “pretty crazy.”
However, for his husband Matt Garcia, it was clearly an experience he’ll never forget.
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In the lifelong New Yorker’s recording, taken just before 7:00 pm Tuesday evening, Garcia is heard making sounds of amazement, delighted by this display of mother nature and providing a perfect soundtrack to the dolphin’s thrilling glide to the surface of the East River to take each breath.
“Wow,” says Scheer towards the end of this 36-second video of the marine mammal.
“Oh my God!” Garcia adds, still overwhelmed by the astonishing display.
“I’ve been in New York 11 years but I’ve never seen that!” Garcia tells Upper East Site.
Scheer says they were was taken aback because the couple did not specifically go out to the East River Esplanade to look for the dolphin, but had heard the aquatic animal was spotted in the area a day earlier. On Monday night, ABC7 reported that the dolphin had been seen near the UES that morning.
Meanwhile, another Upper East Site reader says he spotted a dolphin in the East River near East 98th Street on Sunday morning and snapped a photo of its dorsal fin above the water.
New Yorkers have been documenting the aquatic mammals’ movements through the waterway on social media, with multiple sightings this month in the waters south of the Queensboro Bridge and even as far downtown as the Lower East Side.
There is no need for concern about dolphins swimming in city waterways according to NYC Parks officials, who told Upper East Site that “dolphin sightings in and around our city are a good thing.”
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“It’s a sign of a healthy ecosystem that dolphins are here (along we hope with other large aquatic animals),” the agency explained in a statement, “The dolphins help provide ecological balance by preventing prey species from becoming over abundant.”
“Seeing dolphins and knowing they live in your neighborhood park can inspire awe, wonder, curiosity and pride,” NYC Parks continued, “helping to foster a deeper sense of stewardship for the local environment and spurring action to protect, care for and restore important local habitats.”
The East River has long had a reputation for being too toxic for people, even becoming a storyline on the hit 90’s New York sitcom ‘Seinfeld,’ when Kramer begins swimming in the river because public pools are too crowded.
“You’re swimming in the East River?!” Jerry asks Kramer incredulously, “The most heavily trafficked, overly-contaminated waterway on the eastern seaboard?!”
“Norfolk has more gross tonnage!” Kramer claps back.
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While it may still be the butt of jokes, the East River is technically even safe enough for humans to swim in — most of the time.
However, before you get the urge to take a dip like the K-man or try to have your own personal dolphin experience — the practice is frowned upon for other reasons, including the East River’s dangerously strong currents.
The best place to catch a dolphin sighting on the Upper East Side is still the East River Esplanade.
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