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|Aquarium and The Promenade Shops at Evergreen Walk Partner to Raise "Pennies for Penguins"|
Mystic Aquarium & Institute for Exploration and The Promenade Shops at Evergreen Walk in South Windsor have teamed up to help save the rapidly declining African penguin population. Through August, the aquarium and more than 15 stores at Evergreen Walk will collect “Pennies for Penguins” to help our feathered friends. Aquarium guests and Evergreen Walk customers can also enter to win a one-of-a-kind piece of art created by the aquarium’s penguins, awarded monthly through August.
The “Pennies for Penguins” campaign kicks off on Saturday, May 16, during “Paws on the Promenade” at Evergreen Walk from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., featuring afternoon host Damon Scott from WTIC-FM. Mystic Aquarium & Institute for Exploration’s booth will offer the chance to win free aquarium admission tickets, a family membership or a painting made by the penguins with their feet, as well as information on the plight of the African penguin. Over the last five years, the world’s African penguin population has decreased by 42 percent. In 2000, before the Treasure oil spill, approximately 11,000 African penguins were breeding and living on South Africa’s Robben Island, the third largest breeding island for African penguins. Today, less than 4,500 call the island home. In December 2008, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed listing the African penguin as endangered under the Endangered Species Act.The African penguins at Mystic Aquarium & Institute for Exploration are helping their relatives across the world. They play an integral role in the African Penguin Species Survival Plan, and the aquarium staff’s work with them is helping researchers better understand penguins in the wild. In fact, the aquarium is a leader in a collaborative, nationwide effort to assist researchers in South Africa. Last year, staff from the aquarium’s animal care, education and research departments got together to form the Penguin Task Force. Their mission is to examine all factors possibly affecting the penguins and develop a plan for the aquarium to lead and assist with education, research and conservation efforts of these species. “Our mission is to help field researchers by sharing information, opening lines of communication and soliciting assistance from other institutions that participate in the African Penguin Species Survival Plan,” said Gayle Sirpenski, a member of the task force and co-coordinator of the African Penguin Species Survival Plan. “Having the penguins in our collections is wonderful, but we have a larger purpose: saving the species.”Donations to help the African penguins can also be made at mysticaquarium.org. This partnership to save the African penguins was made possible by WTIC-FM (96.5). About Sea Research Foundation, Inc.
Mystic Aquarium, Institute for Exploration and Immersion Presents are divisions of Sea Research Foundation, Inc., a private, non-profit, charitable organization incorporated in the State of Connecticut. The mission of Sea Research is to inspire people to care for and protect our ocean planet through education, research and exploration.
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