Annual Fund


Ballast can be difficult to explain to an adult, let alone a 10 year old. Until we give them putty and pennies and a bucket of water. You can imagine the expressions. Then, they put the putty in the water. In lump form, it sinks. Spread it out gradually, see how many pennies you can put in it before it sinks. Excellent – try it again! Next thing you know, a classroom of kids actually understands the concept of ballast.

You stroll by the window of the Boys & Girls Club and notice a bunch of people watching TV, one person in front of a computer. But their eyes are not glazed over. Somewhere in the world, an ocean expedition is underway. Marine scientists are discovering new life forms, and evidence of life long ago. How are these related? The people in that club, along with hundreds of others like them across the country, are watching the live broadcast of the scientists’ discoveries. And, they’re having a conversation – all of them. Sharing the passion, and igniting sparks in future marine scientists. At least 75% of the oceans are unexplored. Maybe we can change that soon.


Wild or in human care, we care deeply. There’s the tiny seal pup found in Niantic, struggling and close to death, that we were able to save, make healthy and release back to the ocean.

There’s Charlotte the green sea turtle, who came to us in 2008, from the Georgia Sea Turtle Center. She’d bee n found stranded, her shell and flippers covered in barnacles and likely stuck by a boat’s propeller. A CT and MRI revealed spinal damage that left her paralyzed and with air accumulating in her hind quarters. Although she is unable to survive in the wild now, there is a chance that, with long term rehabilitation, she could recover and be released. Until then, Charlotte is serving as an ambassador for her species, educating, charming and inspiring guests here at Mystic Aquarium.

The creatures here at Mystic Aquarium are not only like family to us, but they are helping us learn how to – as a society – care for their wild cousins.


Sea Research Foundation promotes the importance of conservation in every program, from preschool activities to adult classes. We are one of only 45 institutions in the country participating in the African penguin Species Survival Plan (SSP). And as a co-founder of and participant in the Northeast Region Stranding Network, our Stranding Program is the region’s primary care provider for marine animals in distress. The rescue efforts of Sea Research Foundation and its volunteer “first responder” are centered on the coasts of Connecticut, Rhode Island and Fishers Island, New York. Further, we have assisted institutions from Maine to New Jersey and even in Texas!

Please join us in these efforts and make your online gift today!