Dolphin Bay Preserve

The mission of the Dolphin Bay Preserve is to protect the wellbeing of Panama’s threatened coastal ecosystems and to promote sustainable, informed interactions with the environment.


  • Implement site-appropriate conservation initiatives
  • Facilitate biological and environmental research and education
  • Engage local communities to broaden awareness of environmental issues and sustainability in the region
  • Promote sustainable agricultural practices
  • Act as a resource for promoting traditional Ngabe botanic medicine


The Dolphin Bay Preserve was originally founded in 2004, and became a Floating Doctors partner project in 2013 to protect and advocate for Panama’s threatened coastal ecosystems. Catalyzed by the gift of 100 acres of pristine coral reef, mangrove and jungle habitat, this project aims to use scientific and social approaches to understand the biological dynamics and cultural significance of local ecosystems.

The preserve management team is developing an environmental education program in collaboration with local communities and international institutions to engage local youth in science and conservation. We use the Dolphin Bay property as a showpiece to demonstrate the beauty and complexity of tropical ecosystems to encourage others to apply respectful and sustainable land management strategies throughout the region.

Research conducted through our internship program focuses on applied conservation. Projects are geared towards identifying effective conservation strategies and determining how local communities can benefit from the ecosystem in a sustainable, nonintrusive manner. Whether it be creating a sanctuary to reintroduce injured wildlife to the jungle, allowing traditional healers, locally called curanderos, to grow and harvest medicinal plants or developing a sustainable agriculture program with nearby communities, our interns play an active role in conservation management and education while gaining valuable research experience.

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