The Adelaide Dolphin Sanctuary was proposed by members of the local community who became concerned about the safety of the dolphins and the quality of their environment. Widespread consultation showed a strong desire in the community to protect the dolphins and in June 2005, the Adelaide Dolphin Sanctuary Act was proclaimed!
The Adelaide Dolphin Sanctuary is an area of 118km2 , overlapping a number of conservation areas (including the Adelaide International Bird Sanctuary), and lies adjacent to the Upper Gulf St Vincent Marine Park.
Habitats within the Adelaide Dolphin Sanctuary include a 10,000 year old Grey Mangrove forest, seagrass, samphire and saltmarsh habitats. These areas provides important nursery areas for many commercial species of fish and prawns.
The Sanctuary also provides as a haul out site for long-nosed fur seals and Australian Sea Lions, and provides habitat for many species of migratory shore birds.
Evidently, the Adelaide Dolphin Sanctuary is also home to a number of bottlenose dolphins. Within this area, there are bout 40 resident dolphins that are present all year round, however, up to 400 or so dolphins have been recorded visiting the area. Dolphin sightings within the ADS have also increased by 6% annually over the last 20 years, emphasising how important this area is for the species.