On Wednesday evening we had occasion to thank some of our donors who have made 2016 one of the most successful fund raising years in the history of Mystic Aquarium. By year end we anticipate that we will have raised $7.9 million for mission programs, exhibits, and capital projects.
Highlights include a $2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Justice for expansion of our national youth conservation and mentoring program, and completion of the $4.2 million campaign for the Wiederhold Veterinary Care Center and the Milne Conservation and Research Center.
This week a new illustrative exhibit, “A Bond Beyond: Illustrations by Rae Whiteley” was unveiled. It is a small but dynamic photo essay on the Mezzanine Gallery of Mystic Aquarium. The artist, Rae Whitely, spent last summer creating twelve illustrations of the close relationships between our animals and our animal care staff, trainers, and aquarists.
Special thanks to Larry Warner, Director of Exhibits and Ron Perry from Exhibits, as well as Jacinta Simoncini from the Marketing team for curating this wonderful mini-exhibit that captures the spirit and dedication of our team and the significance of our mission.
Dr. Allison Tuttle, Vice President of Biological Programs reports that Washburn, the manatee rescued from Chatham in September, rehabilitated at Mystic Aquarium and then transported to and released in Florida, recently took the Gulf Stream (the real gulf stream, not a corporate jet) all the way to the Bahamas and appears to be sticking around there! Dr. Tuttle notes, “I guess she likes to travel to nice places!”
Canada has designated Darnley Bay, home to some 40,000 Beluga Whales as a marine protected area. Please click this link for details on this important development.
The Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut announced this week that Greater Mystic Visitors Bureau will be absorbed into that organization. Congratulations to Senior Vice President for External Relations, Andy Wood, who has been designated Chairman of this important initiative. The new committee will be the principal link with the State of Connecticut for tourism related economic development and marketing, and serve as an important vehicle for fostering continued collaboration with local businesses and attractions.
Finally, this week we welcomed the Schworer family, who have made a 30′ boat their home and traveled the world promoting conservation, as part of our “Conservation in Action” discussion series. More than 100 people attended a forum at the Aquarium to hear them speak about their mission, play music, sing and share experiences from their remarkable journey. Local media covered the events; you can read more here.
I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Somehow it now feels as if that was weeks ago as we plunge headlong into the Holiday Season.
See you all soon!