President’s Blog: October 3, 2017
President's Blog

President’s Blog: October 3, 2017

Dear Colleague: Charter Oak Credit Union Mystic Aquarium sponsor and…

Dear Colleague:

Charter Oak Credit Union

Mystic Aquarium sponsor and partner, Charter Oak Federal Credit Union, is offering to match any gifts made by its members to Mystic Aquarium, backdated to August 14, 2017 and through Wednesday, November 22, 2017.  The match will be made in increments of $25 up to a maximum of $500.  If you bank with Charter Oak or know anyone who does, this is an excellent opportunity to support Mystic Aquarium’s mission programs.

You can find out more information about the Charter Oak program at the link below:


Blackstone Valley Tourism Council

Mystic Aquarium is Rhode Island’s Aquarium.

We are deeply committed to serving the Ocean State, home to many of our guests, members, donors, staff and volunteers.

Our work in Rhode Island includes a very important partnership with the Feinstein Foundation through which thousands of Feinstein Jr. Scholars visit Mystic Aquarium annually.  We provide free access for neighboring Westerly schools and we rescue, rehabilitate and release hundreds of marine animals along the Rhode Island shoreline annually.

One of the shining lights of our Rhode Island community engagement is our long standing partnership with the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council ( led by Dr. Robert Billington, who also serves on our President’s Council.  Our collaboration includes joint marketing, ticket sales, and  programming.

The Tourism Council, headquartered at the visitor center in Pawtucket (not Pawcatuck), has been a leading agency for the cleanup of the famous Blackstone River which runs from Worcester, Massachusetts to Providence, passing through Pawtucket, Central Falls and Woonsocket.

Led by Director of Conservation and Education, MaryEllen Mateleska, Mystic Aquarium has worked with the Council over the past ten years to engage local communities, especially middle school and high school students, in actively cleaning up the Blackstone River and its riverbanks.

We also provide a series of STEM and interpretive programs on a boat operated by the Council and shown in this video:

Last week several of us attended the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council annual gala which highlighted our joint efforts on the River.  We are very proud of this joint conservation effort.  Over the past decade our own water quality studies are showing a vastly improved Blackstone Valley watershed.

This is a conservation success story and a wonderful partnership driving community action, education, watershed restoration and STEM education.


National Water Quality and STEM Mentoring

This week, Director of STEM Programs, Laura Batt, posted on a BLOG for Earth Echo International, a group that we are working with through our national STEM mentoring program to replicate components of the Blackstone Valley project in other communities throughout the nation.  Here is her post:


Advisory Councils

Last Friday we had back to back meetings of the Volunteer Advisory Council and then the Research Advisory Council.  These Councils provide me with critique and advice on their relevant areas of concern.  The Volunteer Advisory Council is chaired by long-time volunteer, Dr. Fatima Matos, who is herself a scientist.

At the Research Advisory Council we had a tribute to one of our members, Dr. Gerald Sonnenfeld, who is retiring as Vice President of Research and Economic Development at the University of Rhode Island this week.

He has been an invaluable resource and advisor for Mystic Aquarium and we are delighted that he will continue to serve on the Research Advisory Council.

See you all soon!






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