Mystic, Conn. (July 12, 2017): This Sunday, July 16, a team from Mystic Aquarium will hit the road for a summer adventure; traveling to some of the most popular beaches along the Connecticut and Rhode Island shoreline with the goal of increasing awareness of the Aquarium’s Animal Rescue Program. Rescue staff and volunteers will travel approximately 45 miles of sea coast in an effort to educate beach goers about stranded animals, their rescue and rehabilitation and the public’s role in the process.
“As a response program that relies heavily on the public to report animals to our hotline, it is important for us to further improve our overall community outreach,” said Janelle Schuh, Stranding Coordinator for Mystic Aquarium’s Animal Rescue Program. “We strive to reach out to community members by teaching them about our program and what they can do to help.”
Mystic Aquarium, as authorized by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)/National Marine Fisheries Service, responds to sightings and strandings of marine mammals and sea turtles in Connecticut, Rhode Island and Fishers Island, NY. Mystic Aquarium is a founding member of the Northeast Region Stranding Network.
Specialized and compassionate care is provided by veterinarians and animal care professionals for the rehabilitation of stranded and rescued animals with the ultimate goal of releasing them back into the ocean environment. Mystic Aquarium’s Animal Rescue Program supports animals in need, educates the public about the marine environment and its inhabitants, and works to inspire people to care about and protect our ocean planet.
The Aquarium’s Animal Rescue Team relies heavily on residents of coastal towns in identifying animals in need. Locals, who utilize Mystic Aquarium’s 24-hour hotline (860.572.5955 ext. 107) and adhere to proper protocol, are often the key to successful rescue.
“Public support is so important to everything that we do with the Animal Rescue Program,” said Schuh. “From calls to our hotline, to our volunteer first responders to fundraising like our upcoming Seals on the Rocks event, it is these dedicated individuals who help us help the animals,” added Schuh.
The public is encouraged to meet with the Mystic Aquarium Team along the route that will include the following stops:
9:00am-11:00am Blue Shutters Beach, Charlestown, RI
This beach is integral to Mystic Aquarium’s Rescue program as this is the site of many of the seal releases during the year.
11:30am-1:00pm Roger Wheeler State Beach in Narragansett, RI
This family friendly beach regularly host animal/ocean activities with the goal of education children to the importance of ocean conservation.
1:30pm-3:00pm East Matunuck State Beach in South Kingstown, RI
3:30pm-5:00pm Misquamicut State Beach, Westerly, RI
5:30pm-7:30pm Eastern Point Beach, Groton, CT
This location, too, has significance to the program as it is the site of the annual Seal Splash fundraiser for the Animal Rescue Clinic
The ‘seal scoot’ as the Rescue team is lightheartedly referring to the summer adventure, will culminate at Eastern Point Beach where guests are invited to enjoy the jazz concert in front of the Zbierski House starting at 6:30pm.
“Every day, our staff and volunteers in the Animal Rescue Clinic are working tirelessly to care for and rehabilitate the animals in our clinic in an effort to return them to their natural environment quickly and safely,” added Schuh. “We hope people will come out to meet these great volunteers, learn not only about our program but how they can get involved.”
ABOUT MYSTIC AQUARIUM’S ANIMAL RESCUE PROGRAM
Mystic Aquarium’s Animal Rescue Program supports animals in need and educates the public about the marine environment and its inhabitants. The public is encouraged to call the aquarium’s 24-hour hotline at 860.572.5955 ext. 107 if they encounter a marine mammal or sea turtle in CT, RI or Fishers Island, NY. Mystic Aquarium is a founding member of the Northeast Region Stranding Network. This network in comprised of organizations along the eastern sea coast which have facilities and trained staff to care for sick and injured animals. Marine Mammals are protected species, so only groups and facilities authorized by the National Marine Fisheries Service are permitted to handle these animals.
ABOUT MYSTIC AQUARIUM
Mystic Aquarium, a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization, is counted among the nation’s leading aquariums with more than 300 species and an extensive collection of marine mammals, including New England’s only belugas. Mystic Aquarium has been a pioneer in offering guests a variety of up close encounters with a wide range of marine animals. The mission of Mystic Aquarium is to inspire people to care for and protect our ocean planet through conservation, education and research. Mystic Aquarium receives major support from The Coca-Cola Company, Foxwoods Resort Casino, Resorts World Sentosa and United Technologies Corporation. Learn more at MysticAquarium.org.