The grant will support innovative research that will improve the understanding of marine mammals and their habitats throughout New England, bring hands-on educational and career opportunities to students in the region, bolster the life-saving work of the aquarium’s Animal Rescue Program and create a brand new exhibit centered around the potential of ocean wind energy.
This new partnership reflects Ørsted and Eversource’s commitment to delivering renewable energy to Connecticut while also working to support local communities throughout the state – bringing together the JV’s commitment to shrinking its carbon footprint while delivering jobs and economic investment, with Mystic’s goal of protecting the environment through research, knowledge sharing and animal rehabilitation.
“As we pursue our goals to deliver renewable energy to Connecticut and the New England region, we recognize the significant way in which our work fighting climate change aligns with the mission of Mystic Aquarium,” says David Ortiz, head of New England market affairs at Ørsted. “We are proud to support the aquarium’s efforts to protect our oceans and to educate younger generations on how we can best preserve and improve our world’s natural environment.”
Through “Youth Works,” Mystic Aquarium will offer paid internships to students in neighboring New London, giving them the chance to obtain valuable, real-world experience in a range of potential careers. Interns will have the chance to work side-by-side with staff on everything from finance, to marketing, to zoological operations.
Meanwhile, the “Women in Science” series will feature events and workshops throughout the month of August, highlighting women in various scientific fields as they participate in webinars and panel discussions. In addition, the program will also provide internship opportunities for undergraduate women to explore careers in veterinary science and marine research.
Ørsted and Eversource have committed to investing directly in Mystic Aquarium operations as well, with Revolution Wind set to become the official sponsor of Mystic’s Animal Rescue Program. The program is essential to the region as it is the sole federally authorized entity empowered to respond to marine mammal stranding and distress calls along the coast of Connecticut, Rhode Island and certain parts of New York. Funding for these efforts will allow the life-saving work performed by the aquarium’s veterinarians to continue, including rehabilitation services that take place at the on-site clinic.
Finally, the grant will help build a brand-new exhibit at the aquarium focused on ocean wind energy. Scheduled to arrive in the spring of 2022, “Wind, Water, Wave” will showcase the potential for ocean wind energy and what it will mean for our clean energy future. The exhibit will feature interactive equipment and infographic displays that celebrate achievements in marine engineering and highlight the impact of the Revolution Wind project.
Mystic Aquarium is a nonprofit institution that strives to inspire people to care for and protect the ocean planet through conservation, education and research. Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, certified by American Humane, and fully licensed and certified by federal agencies for marine mammal care, Mystic Aquarium is known for its STEM learning programs, welcoming 800,000 visitors to its campus annually and serving over 100,000 students including undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate veterinary and research programs.
Ørsted and Eversource are developers of Connecticut’s first offshore wind farm, Revolution Wind. The project will deliver 304 MW of clean energy to the state and 400 MW to Rhode Island.