The day – Mystic Aquarium receives more than $ 6 million in federal COVID aid

Mystic – Mystic Aquarium has received more than $ 6 million in federal COVID-19 relief funding.

Funding for the American Rescue Plan was announced last week by U.S. Representative Joe Courtney, D-Second District. It comes from the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program, which supports museums, theaters, cinemas and other entities that have had to close for some time during the coronavirus pandemic.

“This new relief funding from the US bailout will help the Mystic Aquarium get started as it gets back on its feet after a difficult year,” Courtney said in a press release. “The Mystic Aquarium is a real gem for Eastern Connecticut – it’s a popular destination that draws families to our area, they offer great jobs and seasonal work opportunities, and it’s a great place for them. children and even adults to learn, explore and have fun. “

Aquarium president Stephen Coan said the aquarium is grateful to Courtney for her support and understanding of the aquarium’s mission.

“We faced a huge financial challenge in 2020, because despite being closed to the public and no income for several months, we still had the responsibility to care for, feed and provide veterinary care and life support for over 7,000 animals. sailors. , including many federally protected and threatened species. This key responsibility, in addition to being the largest provider of STEM education in the state of Connecticut and the only federally authorized marine mammal rescue response team for much of Connecticut, the New York State and Rhode Island meant we couldn’t completely shut down operations, ”he said in a press release.

The $ 6,084,252 grant can be used to cover a wide variety of expenses, such as payroll, rent and utilities, mortgage payments, debt and insurance, worker protection expenses, taxes. and national and local costs, maintenance and administrative costs.

In September 2020, the state granted the aquarium a $ 7 million loan as part of the aquarium’s financial restructuring of $ 31.5 million.

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