Mystic Aquarium, Mystic Seaport Museum and the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center are proud to announce plans for a multi-day, community-wide Earth Day 2020 event in celebration of the movement’s 50th anniversary. The events, which will be announced in detail in the coming months, will engage a host of like-minded community partners as well as the general public in support of habitat restoration, conservation and overall collective action. The announcement was made on April 22, Earth Day 2019.
The first Earth Day, held on April 22, 1970, activated 20 million Americans from all walks of life and is widely credited with launching the modern environmental movement. Earth Day Network reports that today more than 1 billion people now participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world.
“Conservation is at the heart of our mission to protect the ocean planet,” said Dr. Stephen M. Coan, President and CEO of Mystic Aquarium. “Our teams of animal care professionals, educators and scientists actively engage nearly 100,000 ocean ambassadors each year in support of Long Island Sound and beyond. We are eager to expand that program in 2020 through this grand celebration with our community and in our community with our partners.”
Long Island Sound is an estuary (where saltwater from the ocean mixes with fresh water from rivers) and like the Mystic River, drain from the land. While estuaries are among the most productive ecosystems on Earth, Long Island Sound is among the most important and valuable estuaries in the nation. In fact, it received Congressional designation in 1987 as an “Estuary of National Significance.”
“The Earth needs our attention now more than ever, and we recognize our obligation specifically to the Mystic River and watershed,” said Stephen C. White, President of Mystic Seaport Museum. “Mystic Seaport Museum strives to inspire an enduring connection to the American maritime experience, and in the spirit of the Earth Day Network’s mission to diversify, educate, and activate the environmental movement worldwide we look forward to bringing that focus and awareness to our home community.”
Together the community organizations look to share information about the history of the local watershed including human impacts and offer educational opportunities and activities to shed light on ways we all can become better stewards of the planet. It is critically important to protect Long Island Sound and maintain its water quality as a living resource to more than 1,200 species of invertebrates, 170 species of fish and dozens of species of migratory birds.
“At the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center, every day is Earth Day, but the 50th anniversary of the Earth Day movement is especially significant,” said Maggie Jones, Senior Director of Conservation and Philanthropy at the Nature Center. “We are looking forward to collaborating with Mystic Seaport Museum and Mystic Aquarium to inspire the next generation of environmental stewards. This opportunity will bring our unique but complementary contributions together, to create a Mystic-wide partnership of activities and events that reimagine what we can collectively do to protect our global environment.”
Mystic Aquarium, Mystic Seaport Museum and the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center are encouraging broad participation from area businesses and organizations to join activities during the week of April 18-26, 2020. The Mashantucket Pequot Tribe, Olde Mistick Village, Clean Up Sound and Harbors (CUSH) and Pine Point School have also pledged their participation in Earth Day 2020.
The series of events will include the fifth Annual Mystic-Wide Cleanup, a town-wide, large-scale debris removal event, on April 25, 2020. Since its inception, the event has resulted in the removal of more than 500 pounds of debris each year from more than 10 miles of riverside property in Mystic.
Environmental stewards are encouraged to ‘warm up’ for the big event by participating in this year’s Earth Day Celebrations. On April 28, join Mystic Aquarium for an Earth Day Cleanup at Bluff Point State Park in Groton, CT. Details are available at MysticAquarium.org.
The Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center is hosting a week-long series of programs called “Celebrate Earth” from April 22 to 28 that engage and educate all ages, from “acorn to oak”, to inspire an understanding of the natural world and ourselves as part of it – past, present, and future. Details are available on their website.