Bunbury Dolphin Discovery Environment Fund

The Dolphin Discovery Centre Bunbury is a self-sustaining not for profit community organisation dedicated to the protection of marine animals and the conservation of their environment.

Our vision is for a world where marine animals are free to swim the oceans without threat of injury or destruction of their habitat.

Every year we must raise over $300,000 to fund our life-saving Dolphin Rescue, Whale Stranding, Turtle Rehabilitation and other conservation programs through Tourism, Cafe & Conference Centre, grants and donations.

The Covid-19 pandemic has severely affected our ability to support these vital projects.

We urgently need your support today to ensure the future for our treasured Bunbury Dolphins, Whales and Turtles, please click here.
(all donations of $2 and above are tax deductible)

How do we help?

DDC Storm Chasers

We are like-minded people from all walks of life, made out of members from the public, volunteers, and staff of the Dolphin Discovery Centre (DDC). Clearing every month hundreds of kilometres of coastline, bushland, and forests from litter which pollutes our environment and endangers wildlife. While doing so we keep an eye out for wildlife in distress such as sea turtles, shorebirds, seals, and dolphins just to name a few. We can act immediately if help is needed and provide this through a close working relationship with the Department of Parks and Wildlife (DBCA) and the Dolphin Discovery Centre Rescue Teams.

But our work does not stop here. We photograph the collected rubbish before disposing it correctly, afterwards the data will be uploaded through the DDC into a national database of Tangaroa Blue & Keep Australia Beautiful so research can work towards fighting pollution at its source. The DDC Team also attends festivals/public events, creates campaigns, and educational videos across all media channels (digital and conventional) to raise awareness, teach, and create a movement that will hopefully roll across our regions into the rest of Australia. Together with schools, organizations, and institutions we will activate a strong sense of responsibility and belonging between community and environment.

For all DDC Storm Chasers we provide FREE Litter Collection Kits that can be picked up at the Dolphin Discovery Centre. For more details or if you like to join please contact us by email at jan@dolphindiscovery.com.au or by phone 9791 3088 (during business hours). Together we KEEP AUSTRALIA BEAUTIFUL!

Dolphin Rescue

When the call comes in to report a dolphin in distress, our team of marine scientists and highly-trained volunteers rush into action. We know we may only have a few hours to reach a dolphin in trouble before they are overcome by their injuries.

Every year dolphins are reported hurt or in distress in our coastal waters. Whether entangled in abandoned fishing lines and hooks or being stranded on a sandbank, a Dolphin in distress needs help fast if they are to have any chance of survival. And tragically, it is often the youngest and most curious of our Dolphin calves that find themselves in most need of our help.

Since 1989, our teams have responded to over 150 calls of dolphins in distress.

Please, give a gift today to save the lives of injured Dolphins. Your donation will be used to fund our daily monitoring programs and essential equipment such as our research boat, cameras, hydrophones, and rescue trailers. You will also help fund the training of staff and volunteers as they carry out these life-saving rescues.

You can save a Dolphin today.

Whale Stranding

The images may be familiar to you. The bodies of over a hundred whales, stretching along the beach as far as the eye can see. Each one a beautiful, majestic mammal.

Tragically, almost every year our teams are called to help at whale strandings right along the southwestern coastline of Australia. It’s an exhausting and traumatic experience for everyone involved.

But, even in the most difficult circumstances, we never lose hope that a stranded whale can be returned to the ocean.

Your gift today, will ensure our teams are on hand and ready to respond whenever and wherever we are needed. Your gift will cover the costs of vital Whale Stranding training for our volunteers and essential equipment such as rescue trailers and boats.

You can save a Whale today.

Turtle Rescue & Rehabilitation

Every year many hundreds of baby turtles are caught up in the Leeuwin Current and during winter storms find themselves at our shores, many thousands of miles away from home.

With no food, and cold temperatures, they will die without the support of our world-class turtle rehabilitation program.

Marine Turtles like the Loggerhead are critically endangered due to the destruction of their environment and pollution of the oceans. In the wild only 1 in 1000 hatchlings survives to adulthood.

For over 20 years our team has successfully rehabilitated hundreds of endangered marine turtles that become stranded along the West Australian coastline. Turtles are released back in the ocean after 6 – 24 months of care, when their chances of survival are greatly improved.

Your gift today will provide critical emergency treatment, a temporary home with us and 24/7 care until they are strong enough for release.

You can save a Turtle today.


Did you know that our team has been monitoring the Koombana Bay dolphins for over 30 years?

Our volunteers and staff have clocked up thousands of hours of observations, helping to build our understanding of dolphin behaviour and how humans impact the dolphin environment.

Our research led to the creation of the Sanctuary Zone – a place in the bay where dolphins can rest and socialise.

In 2007 we teamed up with Murdoch University to create the South West Marine Research Program. The program looks at the impact of human activity on the local dolphin population and assists industry partners in planning their activities to minimise impact on the marine environment.

Our research is helping protect the Dolphins who call Koombana Bay home. But it’s only possible with your support.

Your gift today will provide critical funds to continue our research program, helping us to ensure the health and wellbeing of our Dolphins is respected by everyone that moves through the bay.

You can protect the Koombana Bay Dolphins today.

Past & Present Research Projects

    Since the inception of the Dolphin Trust In 1989 dedicated volunteers and staff have recorded data 364 days per year on every dolphin observation. This has resulted in:
  • tens of thousands of observations of dolphin behaviour and interaction
  • over 700 individual dolphins catalogued
  • immense amount of consistent data
  • identification of key areas of importance to dolphins
  • monitoring predation, environmental and human impacts
  • The South West Marine Research Program (SWMRP) was founded in 2007, in partnership with Murdoch University. The program provides critical information for assessing the potential impacts of human activity on dolphins and assist industry partners in planning their activities in the marine environment while minimising their impacts on the local dolphin population.
  • Six PhD’s completed or underway
  • Sanctuary Zone created
  • Citizen Science Dolphin Watch App
  • Marine Education

    Every year, thousands of children come through our doors, eager to learn more about the weird and wonderful creatures that call the Indian Ocean home.

    Our volunteers devote over 25,000 hours per year to educating children and adults on the marine environment and the many ways we can all help conserve and protect the diversity of our oceans.

    With your help we can expand our education program, giving more people the opportunity to learn about our delicate marine eco-system and safeguarding the diversity of our oceans for many generations to come.

    You can safeguard the future of our Oceans today.

      Past & Present Education Programs

    • Aquariums educate about dolphin diet and habitat
    • School education program, with a science focus in line with National Curriculum, sees both National & International Schools involved and returning annually
    • Public Education via Open Days, Brochures, Signage, Community Event Attendance etc.
    • Marine Ranger & Marine Manager programs created to nurture Marine Stewardship
    • Kids Teaching Kids Conference Host
    • 100,000+ visitors annually
    • Live Video Stream and Youtube TV Channel, established during Covid19 to allow visitors access to our Marine Education Program via Media Channels

    Coral Propagation & Artificial Reef Seeding

    You might not know it but 3 miles off the Bunbury coast are two artificial reefs, built to improve the ocean environment for our complex fish and marine species. Healthy coral reefs are vital to the protection and support of our local marine wildlife but, across the world, these habitats are threatened by environmental pressure.

    Our team of Marine Biologists, Aquarists and Volunteers are saving coral fragments from Busselton Pier and cultivate them in our Aquaroom and Science Lab before transplanting them onto the artificial reef.

    You can build a coral reef today.

    Dolphin Rescue - Help us save injured and distressed dolphins today
    Dolphin Rescue - ‘Oh Thank God you saved her! In these awful time’s that would be just too much if beautiful Calypso had lost her baby! Just wonderful news!!!’ - Jane Griffin, March 2020'
    Dolphin Rescue - Help us save injured and distressed dolphins today
    Whale Stranding - Help us save stranded whales today
    Whale Stranding - 'The Dolphin Discovery Centre have played a vital role in helping at dolphin and whale stranding incidents which are always challenging times.’ – Holly Raudino, PhD, Marine Research Scientis
    Whale Stranding - Help us save stranded whales today
    Turtle Rescue & Rehabilitation - Help us save turtles today
    Turtle Rescue & Rehabilitation - 'Thanks to all involved in getting these turtles back into the wild’ – Parks and Wildlife Service, Western Australia
    Turtle Rescue & Rehabilitation - Help us save turtles today
    Research - 'I was fortunate to spend years studying the Bunbury dolphin population for my PhD but now it’s time to pass on this knowledge to others so that they can continue the good work monitoring and conserving the important population’ – Holly Raudino, PhD, Marine Research Scientist
    Marine Education - ‘The Dolphin Discovery Centre has an important role in teaching the next generation of caretakers about the dolphins in their own backyard through the school education program.’ – Holly Raudino, PhD, Marine Research Scientist
    Marine Education - Help us safeguard the future of our oceans today
    Coral Propagation - Help us build coral reefs today
    Artificial Reef Seeding - Help us improve the ocean environment today

    how can you help?

    There are lots of ways you can help to support our Environment Fund:

    • Adopt a dolphin, turtle or stable of seahorses via our adoption program.
    • Become one of our environment ambassadors simply by fundraising through Facebook. Post about one of our projects and select the “Support Charity” or “Support Nonprofit” button. Search for “Bunbury Dolphin Discovery Environment Fund”.
    • Consider us for a gift in your Will.
    • Containers for Change. Drop your 10c containers off to the Dolphin Discovery Centre Bunbury. Or any collection point in Western Australia using our scheme ID: C10304013


    Please donate today! All donations of $2 or above are tax-deductible and, big or small, every donation counts and is dedicated to our conservation efforts.