The Dolphin Research Institute

Services & Facilities

The Dolphin Research Institute


Mailing address:
Dolphin Research Institute
PO Box 77
Hastings Vic 3915

Physical address:
DRI is located in the Western Port Marina, off Mullet St, Hastings. Melref:154K:12

Telephone: or 61 (0)3 5979 7100 (ISD)

Welcome to The Dolphin Research Institute at Hastings: Pioneering Marine Conservation and Education

Located on the shores of Western Port in Victoria, Australia, The Dolphin Research Institute (DRI) is at the forefront of marine conservation and education. With a primary focus on the south-eastern region of Victoria, including Port Phillip, Western Port, and the Gippsland Lakes, our work spans over 25 years of dedicated dolphin research.

Our Mission

Research for Conservation

Since our inception in the late 1980s, DRI has been committed to the study and protection of local dolphin populations and their marine environments. Our extensive database, built from regular surveys and fin identification, allows us to monitor and understand the resident dolphins intimately. This data not only aids in conservation efforts but also makes our supporters proud to contribute to the well-being of these magnificent creatures.

Education for the Next Generation

Education is a cornerstone of our mission. We believe in fostering a deep connection between young people and marine conservation. Our award-winning ‘i sea, i care’ Ambassador program engages primary school students in meaningful environmental education and action. Through this and other initiatives, we aim to inspire the next generation of marine stewards.

Environmental Leadership for the Community

Beyond research and education, DRI plays a pivotal role in environmental leadership. We involve the community through citizen science projects and public education campaigns, emphasizing the importance of catchment management, pollution control, and proactive measures for waterway health. Our philosophy, “all drains lead to the sea,” underscores the interconnectedness of our actions and their impact on marine ecosystems.

Achievements and Recognition

The Dolphin Research Institute has been a beacon of marine conservation since 1991, and our efforts have garnered numerous accolades. We are proud recipients of prestigious awards such as the Banksia Environment Foundation national award in the “Marine & Coastal Water” category (1997), the Victorian Coastal Awards of Excellence for “Species Protection” (2002), and “Community Partnerships” (2013). These honors reflect our unwavering commitment to protecting our bays and pioneering initiatives like the federally-funded National Dolphin Health Project.

Community and Support

As a registered charity, DRI is self-funded through the generosity of the community, foundations, corporate partners, and government grants. Our growth from a small group of concerned individuals into a well-managed, sustainable organization is a testament to our supporters’ dedication. By joining forces with us, you can say, “Yes, I’m helping these dolphins now, and for their future.”

Get Involved

We invite you to be a part of our mission. Whether through donations, volunteering, or participating in our programs, your involvement makes a significant difference. Together, we can continue to protect and conserve our marine environments for future generations.

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