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Wednesday, March 27, 2019

New exhibit on marine plastics opening April 6

Mystic hopes to show the consequences of plastic pollution
Dale Wolbrink

trapped GIFPlastic pollution is one of the hottest topics in news today. Consumers are flooded with information from daunting statistics to collective action campaigns and proposed regulation. 

Mystic Aquarium is doing its part to help turn the tide with the upcoming opening of its new Plastic Free Seas on Saturday, April 6, 2019.

“We are excited to announce our upcoming exhibit entitled, Plastic Free Seas,” said Katie Cubina, Senior Vice President, Mission Programs for Mystic Aquarium. 

“Plastic pollution is found in almost every marine habitat around the world. We believe it is our responsibility as a strong community partner and one of the nation's leading aquariums to inform, educate and empower people to reduce sources of plastic pollution as we strive to make a consistent, positive impact on the ocean planet.”


Mystic Aquarium has a stated mission to inspire people to care for and protect our ocean planet through conservation, education and research.

From macro- to micro-plastics, the new exhibit highlights the various types of plastics in the environment as well as threats they pose to wildlife.

“But we have hope,” said MaryEllen Mateleska, Mystic Aquarium’s Director of Education and Conservation. “There are both individual and collective actions that can be taken now to reduce additional plastic pollution.”

Interactive components of Plastic Free Seas, like Draper’s microplastic sensing system and a plastic debris simulation, provide a unique perspective to plastic pollution. Local conservation heroes are also featured in the upcoming exhibit.

Draper uses technology to create solutions to solve some of the world’s most difficult and important problems. Currently developing the world’s first underwater real-time microplastic sensing system in partnership with the Environmental Protective Agency, the goal of Draper’s system is to understand the sources and movements of microplastics to help to determine mitigation options.

Support for Plastic Free Seas comes from The Naktenis Family Foundation, Draper and StoneRidge.

Plastic Free Seas will be open just in time for spring break for schools around New England and Mystic Aquarium’s family-friendly vacation week activities.