Ocean Conservation Addressed During Mystic Aquarium’s Conservation in Action Event Featuring Senator Blumenthal


Mystic, Conn. (August 31, 2016): Last night, Mystic Aquarium recognized Senator Richard Blumenthal and his congressional colleagues for their leadership in ocean conservation as part of the Conservation in Action speaker series.  The event highlighted Senator Blumenthal’s unyielding efforts to encourage the designation by President Obama of the New England Coral Canyons and Seamounts as our nation’s first Marine National Monument in the Atlantic Ocean.

The evening’s speakers, which included Katie Cubina, Senior Vice President, Mission Programs, Mystic Aquarium; Dr. Stephen M. Coan, President and CEO, Mystic Aquarium; and Senator Blumenthal, addressed the importance and future impact of the proposed designation to the 150 guests in attendance.

Mystic Aquarium’s Senior Research Scientist, Dr. Peter Auster, provided guests an opportunity to explore the New England Coral Canyons and Seamounts area through a dynamic presentation. Located 150 miles off the coast of Cape Cod, this area is a biodiversity hot spot.

For over 30 years, Dr. Auster has been working in the area that teems with forests of ancient corals, where undersea canyons are deeper than the Grand Canyon and seamounts – extinct underwater volcanoes – rival the size and majesty of the Rockies. These places are home to bizarre otherworldly fish and invertebrate species that thrive in the bitter cold and under the crushing pressure of the deep sea.  While the surface waters above support migrating tunas, sharks, dolphins, sea turtles and the endangered sperm whale.

Marine scientists have called this region one of the most important and vulnerable habitats in the deep ocean off New England.

Mystic Aquarium’s Conservation in Action speaker series features guest speakers who share their experiences with and contributions to conservation.