Keep Captive Dolphins Out of Orange Beach, Alabama

Keep Captive Dolphins Out of Orange Beach, Alabama

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Earlier this year, Presidium Group, a Texas investment company, purchased a dilapidated property in Orange Beach, Alabama known as the "Bama Bayou."

The Presidium Group's development plans for the property include a water park, condominiums, an amphitheater, a convention center, and a Gulf World Marine park – with dolphins.

There is already an attempt to pitch this project as a marine mammal rescue facility, however the plans include interaction and show tanks for both dolphins and sea lions. There are many businesses currently using the “rescue facility” title to excuse away their exploitation of the marine mammals in their care. How long will it take before Orange Beach is just another city with a marine park exploiting dolphins? The city council office told Empty the Tanks that the dolphin shows and swim with programs are necessary to pay for the rescue facilities but it would seem with a water park, condominium sales, a restaurant, a convention center, and an amphitheater, The Presidium Group could find another way to fund a marine mammal rescue center. There are many foundations and donors that would also support a genuine rescue facility that houses non releasable animals in a sea side sanctuary rather than taking those rescues and turning them into slaves for entertainment.

New dolphin tanks do nothing but fuel the demand for more captive dolphins. Some are rescues, most are captive bred and a good number of them are taken from the wild. We must end this idea that it is ethical to keep cetaceans in tanks for entertainment. John Racanelli, CEO and President of The National Aquarium is ending the captive dolphin program at his aquarium and sending the dolphins to a sanctuary in Florida. Racanelli thinks that, “we need to get out of that awful era that we have been through for the last 100 years of caging animals.” This is the future – not plans for another Gulf World in a coastal town in Alabama.

If the city of Orange Beach allows for a marine park with dolphin entertainment tanks to be built it will be a step backwards for the community and the State of Alabama as a whole.

“There is no reason to imprison these sentient animals for entertainment and monetary reasons. The future of our world should be in eco-tourism. We should be teaching people of all ages to respect wildlife and the wild spaces they come from. Interacting with a captive dolphin that is performing a forced behavior due to food deprivation is not teaching respect – it is teaching dominance and disrespect.” Rachel Carbary, Executive Director, Empty the Tanks

There is a lot of opposition to this project from Orange Beach residents who want to continue to attract tourists with the wild dolphin tours and other coastal activities. 

There has been a large shift in public opinion about keeping cetaceans in captivity. Vancouver Aquarium has ended their captivity program, Mexico City recently banned dolphin captivity, Canada is considering a bill to ban all cetacean captivity, and The National Aquarium is ending their dolphin captivity by sending their animals to a sanctuary in Florida.

This petition is to request that Mayor Kennon and the Orange Beach City Council do not allow any marine mammal entertainment tanks to be developed within this new Presidium Group project. We are also asking that the Presidium Group find an alternative way to fund a marine mammal rescue center in Orange Beach and that they do not build dolphin tanks. 

Please sign and share this petition to tell the city of Orange Beach and the Presidium Group NO NEW DOLPHIN TANKS in Alabama.