Dolphins are a common sight all along the East Coast. No cause has so far been found for an increase in their mortality rate.
There's been a dramatic increase in the number of dolphin corpses washing ashore on Virginia beaches, and federal scientists are trying to find out why.
Most years, about 65 dead dolphins are found in the surf. Marine biologists say dolphin strandings historically peak in May and June. In July, however, 44 dolphins were found dead, pushing the yearly total past the century mark.
Most were discovered in the southern part of the Chesapeake Bay.
Delaware and Maryland have also seen an uptick in dolphin deaths.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has queried states along the East Coast to determine whether spikes have been seen elsewhere.
In New Jersey, initial necropsy results have pointed to pneumonia, but officials stress they are not ready to link all the deaths to that cause.