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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Mystic Aquarium celebrates Earth Day over four days

Plenty of activities for all

Image result for mystic aquarium earth dayEveryone likes a party! Kicking off with Celebrate Sound Spirit and culminating with an Earth Day celebration, Mystic Aquarium is proud to host a party with a purpose-“Party for the Planet”-on April 19-22, 2018.

“At Mystic Aquarium, we can’t limit the celebration to just one day,” said MaryEllen Mateleska, Director of Conservation and Education. “We have four days where children and families can take action in protection of our environment!”

Over the four-day observance, Mystic Aquarium educators, Youth Conservation Corps and other local student volunteers and organizations will lead hands-on activities that highlight unique habitats and conservation issues affecting ecosystems locally and around the world, and most importantly, what can be done to help protect the planet.  

Thursday through Saturday, daily activities will showcase conservation and stewardship opportunities for public engagement, an overview of Mystic Aquarium’s Animal Rescue Program and the importance of to being a responsible seafood consumer as well as arts and crafts.

Learn more about horseshoe crab research, amphibian monitoring, Long Island Sound water quality monitoring programs and other citizen science programs plus discover volunteer opportunities and much more.  

See how sustainable seafood options can affect local ecosystems and impact fisheries. Children experience Long Island Sound biodiversity in a unique way through a fish printing activity.

The event is highlighted with daily special guests. On Thursday, Stonington High School Environmental Studies students will educate visitors on the impacts of marine debris and plastic pollution while Aquarium interns highlight their work during table presentations. 

On Friday and Saturday, Covanta Energy will showcase their marine debris toolbox to educate visitors to the effects of marine debris on habitat and water quality and provide tangible steps for mitigation.

On Saturday, April 21, Avalonia Land Conservancy will help visitors discover the connection between land and sea.  Also on Saturday, Mystic Aquarium is proud to host H&M, the global fashion and design company, for insight on fashion recycling and its environmental impact.

All activities are free for members and included with Aquarium admission.  For a complete list of Earth Day activities, visit

Celebrate Sound Spirit activities will also include the second installment of Mystic Aquarium’s Nature Play in the Green programming- Earth Day Boat Building. 

On Saturday, April 21 from 10:00 am to noon, participants will build boats using items scavenged from the Sea School Green. Seaworthiness will be tested in the Green’s stream. These monthly Nature Play programs are fun and engaging self-guided activities and crafts with the goal of connecting kids and families to the great outdoors. There is no cost for the Nature Play program.

The celebration culminates on Earth Day with real-world conservation application.  On Sunday, the public is invited to join Mystic Aquarium’s team at the Dodge Paddock and Beal Preserve in Stonington Borough from 10:00 am-2:00 pm to prepare this unique marshland for the summer. 

This family-friendly event is open to conservationists of all ages, and the Aquarium will provide work gloves, buckets and gardening tools. 

There is no cost for the Earth Day Restoration; however, registration for this event is requested by contacting Mystic Aquarium at

Dodge Paddock and Beal Preserve is the last green public space in Stonington Borough. Over the last several years, Mystic Aquarium, in partnership with landowner Avalonia Land Conservancy and CT Sea Grant, has worked to restore this 2.6 acre habitat of freshwater wetlands, tidal salt marsh and coastal grassland systems, to ensure a healthy home for resident fish, wildlife and migratory water birds, as well as use tidal circulation to biologically control mosquitos.

The parcel was once home to a pottery factory, which burned down decades ago, then restored with native grasses; but rising tides, invasive Phragmites and Superstorm Sandy have devastated the preserve in recent years.  From a dead, debris-ridden lot, the preserve is now teeming with freshly planted native grasses and shrubs. Participants of all-ages play a critical role in the ongoing care of the local marsh

“During Celebrate Sound Spirit, Thursday, April 19 through Saturday, April 21, and Earth Day on Sunday, April 22, we invite you to be one of one billion+ caring people around the world who celebrate the planet Earth,” added Mateleska.