Happy New Year!
I want to celebrate some of Mystic Aquarium’s milestone achievements during the past year:
- Our attendance increased 9 percent over 2015 to nearly 720,000 visitors, including a 16 percent increase from local markets, Providence, Hartford and New London.
- We raised $8.1 million for capital projects and mission programs, including completion of fund raising for the Milne Conservation and Research Center.
- Our renowned National Youth STEM mentoring and youth conservation program received a $2.5 million competitive grant award from the U.S. Department of Justice.
- The Frogs! Exhibit gallery opened in the Ocean Conservation Center to rave reviews, featuring incredible new interactive technologies and fascinating species.
- We launched a new Volunteer Advisory Council and revitalized the Research Advisory Council.
- The new Conservation in Action speaker series engaged over 600 people during the year, with topics ranging from the future of fisheries to the importance of frogs.
- The new Scientist-in-Residence program was launched, bringing esteemed experts to our organization and building our research competencies and capabilities through partnerships with Yale University, Charles River Laboratories and other institutions.
- We solidified our partnership with University of Connecticut, moving our research operations and laboratories to the Avery Point campus. Our research scientists also now hold faculty appointments with the University.
- A new gap year education program was established in collaboration with Mitchell College and our summer camps were chock full of young people.
- Over 100,000 students were served by our education and conservation programs, in addition to our annual attendance.
- A major diversity effort was launched including establishment of a diversity committee, use of bilingual marketing, and establishment of new community partnerships in New London, Hartford and Providence.
- We grew our commitment to serving at-risk youth through the Feinstein Jr. Scholar Program, supported by the Feinstein Foundation and welcomed approximately 40,000 visitors through that partnership.
- Four new Trustees were elected; Sanjay Gupta, Alex Marku, George Kirby and Eric Hogarth.
- We welcomed new leaders in Exhibits, Fish and Invertebrates and Guest Services, Larry Warner, William Hana and Melanie Evans respectively.
- We opened the new Wiederhold Veterinary Care Center, a state of the art animal hospital in November.
- We rescued, rehabilitated and released a record number of marine animals, including a cold-stunned Kemps Ridley sea turtle, and pregnant manatee who garnered national attention.
- Mystic Aquarium was certified by American Humane for excellence in animal care.
We are a community with one mission: to inspire people to care for and protect our ocean planet through conservation, education and research.
Our stated values are:
- Respect for animals, guests, staff and community
- Communication, collaboration and cooperation around “One Ocean, One Mission”
- Promotion of conservation and awareness of our ocean planet through all that we do
- Commitment to and citizenship within the local and global communities
Thank you to all who made the last year so meaningful in fulfillment of our mission. I look forward, with you, to even more progress and accomplishments in 2017.
See you all soon!