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Sunday, May 8, 2016

Mystic reports a very busy spring

Charity works hard to earn its keep 

While others enjoyed a traditional April vacation, Mystic Aquarium was hard at work fulfilling their mission to inspire people to care for and protect our ocean planet through conservation, education and research.  

Throughout the month, teams from the Animal Rescue Clinic, Husbandry Staff, Mission Programs, Education and Guest Services departments worked tirelessly to bring real-world results.

By the numbers: During April, Mystic Aquarium…

  • Provided a forever home for two Northern fur seal pups deemed non-releasable by the federal government.
  • Sent three (3) staff members to assist colleagues with the Usual Mortality Event (UME) for California sea lions and other pinnipeds-including Sarah Callan, Dr. Jen Flower and Erin Gibbons. (See their blogs on
  • Admitted seven (7) seals to our Animal Rescue Clinic including three (3) gray seals, two (2) harp seals and two (2) harbor seals.
  • Responded to 30 different stranding calls through the Animal Rescue hotline during the month.
  • Re-released a harp seal back into the ocean environment after months of rehabilitation.
  • Acclimated four (4) endangered African penguin chicks into the colony.
  • Trained 110 FrogWatch USA volunteers and an additional 106 middle school students.
  • Hosted five (5) conservation programs including Earth Day, a beach cleanup and habitat restoration.
  • Conducted 95 outreach programs to schools in the month of April.
  • Educated 4,437 school children. 
  • Welcomed over 1,200 Boy & Girl Scouts to enjoy special events and programming.
  • Testified in an effort to help pass a bill to ban shark finning in Rhode Island.
  • Has worked with a strong contingent of colleagues to support the case for President Obama to permanently protect a group of Georges Bank submarine canyons and seamounts by designating them as a marine national monument, based on a critical study by Mystic Aquarium’s Dr. Peter Auster
  • Hosted, along with UConn, a free film screening of SONIC SEA, a documentary film that explores how sound in the ocean is impacting whales and other marine life; followed by a Q&A with Dr. Auster and fellow Mystic Aquarium colleague and Research Scientist, Dr. Paul Anderson.
  • Sponsored, along with Rhode Island College, The Providence Journal and Leadership Rhode Island, a panel discussion to explore the future of commercial fishing in New England.

Rescuing and releasing tiny seal pups found stranded on the beach, protecting African penguins from extinction, keeping oceans and beaches clean, advancing ocean stewardship through education, it’s all in a day’s work at Mystic Aquarium. 

And, it would not be possible without the ongoing support of visitors and members.  

The benefits of a Mystic Aquarium visitation are far-reaching as it helps foster change through conservation, education and research.  

By connecting adults and children alike, Mystic Aquarium is able to raise awareness about global conservation through meaningful and fun engagements designed to spark action.