President’s Blog: August 15, 2017
President's Blog

President’s Blog: August 15, 2017

Dear Friend:   Women in Science Wednesday August 16th features…

Dear Friend:


Women in Science

Wednesday August 16th features our 3rd Annual Women in Science Day. Funded by The Petit Family Foundation, this day provides the opportunity to meet and talk with Mystic Aquarium’s own women scientists, researchers and animal care professionals, as well as women from local community science organizations. Covering numerous fields of science, these women share information and host hands-on activities showcasing their work. Please stop by to meet, talk with and be inspired by these incredible women. Here are just a few.

Dr Ebru Unal, Research Scientist
Monique Park, Senior Aquarist
Dr. Jen Flower, Chief Veterinarian



Ocean Commotion Committee

Our annual gala, Ocean Commotion, is scheduled for Saturday, September 23rd.  Celebrating our Luminous Seas and The Aquarium’s mission, this black-tie event has grown to include over 500 guests.

Last week I spent a few minutes visiting with the Committee that organizes this important occasion.  Led by Co-Chairs Eric Janney and Susette Tibus, the committee members are:

Marion Dodd

Blair Eddy

Mark Fader

Marjorie Geiger

Anne Goldenthal

Louise O’Boyle

Debbie O’Brien

Kevin Rogers

Jennifer Schwindt

Cathy Tabor

Lori Woll

They are incredibly devoted. Countless hours go into raising funds, developing creative decor and engaging the community.  I hope you can join us!

Contact Hannah Stewart with questions.        860.572.5955 x476 / [email protected]

Aquariums and Economic Development

Last week I toured the construction site for the $120 million New York Aquarium.  The Aquarium is an anchor on the historic boardwalk of Coney Island.  It is operated by Wildlife Conservation Society which also runs the Bronx Zoo and the Central Park Zoo.

The existing facility is quite aged.  It sustained heavy damage during Hurricane Sandy.

The City of New York has invested more than $100million to construct the new aquarium building.  It is seen as a key component in a long term redevelopment and revival of the Coney Island neighborhood and Brooklyn waterfront.

In addition to city funding, the federal government is assisting with renovation of some of the existing buildings on the New York Aquarium campus that sustained damage from the hurricane.

This is a good example of how important zoos and aquariums are to the economic well-being of communities.  For example, Mystic Aquarium generates $75 million annually in direct economic impact to Connecticut and approximately $20 million annually to Rhode Island.

We have an important mission in conservation, education, and research.  However, our presence is also essential to the economic vitality of Connecticut and parts of Rhode Island.


Beluga Whale Consortium

This week Mystic Aquarium hosted zoological officials from Georgia Aquarium, Shedd Aquarium, Vancouver Aquarium and SeaWorld to discuss the future of Beluga whales under human care.  The population of Belugas within these institutions and Mystic Aquarium is declining and efforts to bring in animals from other nations for breeding have been unsuccessful.  I appreciate their efforts, as well as the leadership of Senior Vice President for Zoological Operations Larry Rivarde and Vice President of Biological Programs Dr. Allison Tuttle, in seeking solutions for sustaining the Beluga population under human care in the United States.


Just Smile!

Recently President’s Councilor Rob Valenti visited Mystic Aquarium with his family. Rob, of course, is President and CEO of Valenti Auto Group  Here is a great picture of Rob and a California sea lion demonstrating his famous tagline, “Just Smile!”

Just Smile

See you all soon!


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