At Dolphin Connection in Duck Key, Florida, we are blessed that we were able to safely evacuate our dolphins and staff out of the Florida Keys before Hurricane Irma made landfall. Our dolphins' lagoon home wasn’t as lucky; the once pristine saltwater sanctuary is now filled with sea grass, sand, and is littered with debris. Unfortunately, the dolphin habitat and support areas will need to be repaired/replaced. Our animal care office was flooded and our environmental education classroom is in shambles. Our animals' food freezer melted and the food storage area was damaged. Our natural mangrove estuary is full of debris.

It’s time to start restoring normalcy - it’s time to rebuild, clean-up our ecosystem and bring the dolphins and their caregivers back home to Duck Key! To do this, we graciously ask for your help. Any donation, large or small, will help as we estimate not being able to reopen until 2018. Until then, we still need to provide our dolphins top-notch care and keep our team working so that they can, in turn, afford to rebuild their own homes.  Your donations will help us do this.

We will all bounce back from this storm. We will help our Keys family do the same. We are #KeysStrong!

We’d like to thank everyone for their love and support. Also thanks to SeaWorld Orlando for graciously housing our dolphins and trainers during the storm and as we start to rebuild. 

Follow our progress on Facebook:

By the way, my name is Cheryl Messinger. My husband, Doug, and I are co-owners of Dolphin Connection. We'd like to share some post hurricane photos that we took at our facility:
  • Emma & Jesse Gilbert 
    • $150 
    • 45 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 45 mos
  • Denise Ross 
    • $100 
    • 46 mos
  • Kathi Black 
    • $100 
    • 47 mos
  • Sabrina Watson 
    • $25 
    • 47 mos
See all


Cheryl Snyder Messinger 
Marathon, FL
  • #1 fundraising platform

    More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more

  • GoFundMe Guarantee

    In the rare case something isn’t right, we will work with you to determine if misuse occurred. Learn more

  • Expert advice, 24/7

    Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more