Sea Research Foundation
55 Coogan Blvd
Mystic CT 06355-1997
Contact Information
Address 55 Coogan Blvd
Mystic, CT 06355-1997
Telephone (860) 572-5955 x554
Fax 860-572-4734
E-mail info@mysticaquarium.org
Web and Social Media
Mission
The mission of Sea Research Foundation, Inc. d/b/a Mystic Aquarium is to inspire people to care for and protect our ocean planet through conservation, education and research.
At A Glance
Year of Incorporation 1973
Organization's type of tax exempt status Public Supported Charity
Organization received a competitive grant from the community foundation in the past five years No
Leadership
CEO/Executive Director Stephen M. Coan Ph.D.
Board Chair Dr. George M. Milne Jr.
Board Chair Company Affiliation Senior Partner, Radius Venture LLC
Financial Summary
 
Projected Revenue $22,060,732.00
Projected Expenses $19,381,123.00
Statements
Mission
The mission of Sea Research Foundation, Inc. d/b/a Mystic Aquarium is to inspire people to care for and protect our ocean planet through conservation, education and research.
Background

Since its founding in 1973, Mystic Aquarium has been a leader in global efforts to protect our ocean planet, while advancing the science of marine animal care. In the past 43 years, the Aquarium has hosted more than 20 million visitors, provided direct educational programs for over 2 million children and adults, published more than 200 scientific reports, and pioneered the care, display and study of thousands of species of marine life.

Each year, Mystic Aquarium hosts 750,000 visitors from all walks of life to explore its 4,000 resident animals — including fish and invertebrates, reptiles, amphibians and marine mammals. An iconic destination for families, Mystic Aquarium promotes a strong conservation ethic through its exhibits, animal presentations and programs, and instills a strong sense of environmental stewardship in children and adults alike.

The Aquarium has a long history of conducting high-quality research that has contributed to the advancement of husbandry techniques for animals in an aquarium setting, as well as improvements in aquatic animal medicine. Today, Mystic Aquarium is celebrated for its award-winning animal care team, hands-on marine animal encounters, world-class education programs, scientific research endeavors and conservation efforts. Champions of animal conservation, Mystic Aquarium scientists, trainers and veterinarians travel the world to help protect endangered and threatened species — from our local waters and across the United States, to Central America, South Africa, Singapore and the Arctic.

Impact

CONSERVATION: Mystic Aquarium staff travel to South Africa to aid conservation of the endangered South African penguin. Staff travel to Alaska to examine how environmental stressors affect beluga whales. Locally Mystic Aquarium engages hundreds of people in coastal cleanups, environmental monitoring and habitat restoration along Long Island Sound and Narragansett Bay. Its Animal Rescue Program rescues, rehabilitates and releases dozens of marine mammals and sea turtles annually along the 1,000 miles of CT, RI, and NY coastlines.


EDUCATION: Mystic Aquarium’s conservation-focused STEM mentoring program reaches thousands of youth in more than 30 states. As Connecticut’s largest informal science education provider, we reach more than 100,000 students annually. The Aquarium runs a licensed preschool and extensive summer camp programs. Aquarium researchers mentor young scientists through internship, residency, and joint graduate and post-graduate programs. Mystic Aquarium also conducts work-study programs and special events for students with intellectual disabilities, hosts overnights for scouts and their families, provides guided Aquarium experiences for families affected by domestic violence and much more.

RESEARCH: Mystic Aquarium made significant advances in marine sciences, revealing how stressors such as pollutants, sounds and global change impact marine animal immune systems, overall health and behavior. Baseline indicator levels are measured for Aquarium animals under controlled conditions for comparison to threatened and endangered wild counterparts. Knowledge gained by researching care and husbandry of Aquarium animals is shared with the aquarium industry, while research focused on wild marine animals helps protect them and their habitats. Mystic Aquarium scientists are at the forefront of marine ecological research that informs fisheries management practice and furthers understanding of interactions between marine animals, their environments and humans.

 
Needs

Mystic Aquarium invites you to take action by sharing in our mission. Your help is needed at this time to:

- Support STEM environmental education programs that serve 100,000 youth and teachers in schools and after school programs across Connecticut. Collaborative in nature and regional in scope, Mystic Aquarium has been a strong partner for over 15 years with schools in New Haven. This trusted partnership enables Mystic to work quickly and efficiently with the district to engage students and teachers in environmental STEM education. Long-term partnerships between Mystic Aquarium, the University of Connecticut and Connecticut Sea Grant at the Avery Point campus in Groton, Connecticut enable Mystic Aquarium to integrate the most current research and monitoring information on Long Island Sound and the surrounding watershed, into educational experiences.

- Support Mystic Aquarium's Youth Conservation Corps and Citizen Science hands-on conservation initiatives with youth and their families in partnership with Mystic Aquarium to protect marine ecosystems.

- Rescue, rehabilitate and release stranded marine mammals and sea turtles by supporting Mystic Aquarium's Animal Rescue Program.

- Advance Mystic Aquarium's research to promote aquatic animal health and conservation biology.



CEO Statement

Phase One of the Campaign for Mystic Aquarium’s Conservation and Education Center project was completed in early November with the opening of The John T. and Jane. A Wiederhold Foundation Veterinary and Animal Health Center, our new state-of-the-art marine animal care facility.

With the relocation of our biological laboratories to UConn’s Avery Point earlier this year, Phase Two of the project, The Milne Center for Ocean Science and Conservation,will house a comprehensive animal quarantine and breeding facility, a key resource for our animal husbandry operations and research programs. The building will include large and small holding areas, extensive life support systems, and public access by way of guided tours.

Phase Three of the project, The Seedlings Foundation Learning Laboratory, will further our efforts in education locally and around the globe with classrooms of varying size, office suites and additional public space for group events, programs and guided tours.

Construction on Phase Two will begin in Fall 2018 and will be connected to the Wiederhold Foundation Veterinary and Animal Health Center. Scheduled for completion in early 2019, the entire project will cost $6.3 million. To date, more than $4 million has been raised for this project, with $3.3 million allocated for The Wiederhold and Milne Centers, and approximately $700,000 for design, architecture and mission programs. Phase Three fundraising is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2017.

The new complex was envisioned in our 2020 Master Plan and effectively frees up key exhibit space in the Main Aquarium building where classrooms, labs and offices are now located. At least three new galleries will be proposed for these spaces for construction as early as 2019.

This revolutionary facility further elevates Mystic Aquarium to a leader in the region in environmental stewardship and community engagement and will greatly modernize our core mission activities in conservation, education and research.

Best regards,

Stephen M. Coan, Ph.D.

President and CEO

Mystic Aquarium
Board Chair Statement

I’ve been engaged with Sea Research Foundation, d/b/a Mystic Aquarium for more than 20 years. The reason I’ve stayed engaged and am more passionate now than ever is not just because of Sea Research’s ability to make a difference, but the scope and magnitude of that difference. This is a major aquarium and research institution that contributes to conservation and research efforts on a global basis, whether in South Africa or the North Slope of Alaska. It’s a place where young people can come not only to be entertained, but to be intrigued and get that spark of interest in exploring the world around them from a scientific perspective.

Sea Research builds on our scientific research to create an institution that reaches not only young children through its Sea School program, but also through its STEM Education Program and STEM Mentoring Program, reaching over 100,000 children annually.

Over the last decade we have made dramatic progress in building Sea Research’s leadership. We’ve reduced our debt load and now we’re building toward the future. This is about creating new exhibitry and enhancing Mystic Aquarium’s year-round appeal. We use our scientific research and environmental education expertise to shape this into an institution which is not only a great place to visit, but also a contributor to conservation efforts on a worldwide basis and a key part of the answer to how we’re going to energize young people’s enthusiasm for scientific education worldwide.

The young people of today are going to be the stewards of our ocean planet and it’s critical that they learn about those values —including the exciting geological discoveries you can make under the sea, the marine mammals that are endangered but need to be preserved, and the unique species that exist under our ocean surface—and gain respect for the world we live in at a time when our populations will continue to grow and the pressure on natural resources will continue to increase. It is essential that we not only understand these things, but learn to love and appreciate them.

George Milne

Chairman of the Board

Sea Research Foundation

Service Categories
Primary Organization Category Environment / Environmental Education
Secondary Organization Category Environment / Environmental Education
Tertiary Organization Category Science & Technology / Biological, Life Science Research
Areas Served
Throughout the United States
New Haven
East Haven
Hamden
Lower Naugatuck Valley
State wide
Other
Ansonia
Derby
Seymour
Shelton

Mystic Aquarium serves children and adults nationwide, and is firmly committed to engaging students and the community at large to discover and learn about the wonders of our ocean planet. The Aquarium is the largest informal science education provider in Connecticut, reaching over 100,000 students annually. In 2014, Mystic Aquarium was honored by the White House with the Institute for Museum and Library Services National Medal, the nation’s highest honor for service to the community.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

In January of 2017, Mystic Aquarium achieved certification by the American Humane Conservation program, the country's first national humane organization and the world's largest certifier of animal welfare and well-being. Mystic Aquarium joins an elite group of fewer than a dozen Humane Certified™ institutions worldwide. The American Humane Conservation program uses comprehensive, evidence-based animal welfare standards developed by an independent Scientific Advisory Committee comprised of world-renowned leaders in the fields of animal science, animal behavior, animal ethics, and conservation. The certification process utilizes rigorous criteria exhaustively verifies the many dimensions of animal wellbeing, with areas of assessment including: excellent health and housing; positive social interactions within groups of animals, as well as between animals and handlers; safe and stimulating environments, enriched with concern for factors such as appropriate lighting, sound levels, air quality, and thermoregulation; and evidence of thorough preparation and protocols established to prevent and manage medical or operational emergencies.

Mystic Aquarium is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums and the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums. Each year, thousands of individuals, families, corporations and foundations support Mystic Aquarium through membership, philanthropic gifts, sponsorship and grants.

Programs
Description

CONSERVATION

• Mystic Aquarium Animal Rescue Program

• Mystic Aquarium Penguin Conservation Team

• Horseshoe crab monitoring

• Local beach cleanups

• Amphibian monitoring

• Marine debris awareness programs

• Stonington marsh restoration

Conservation-themed lecture series and public events

Population Served / /
Description

EDUCATION


• Reaching over 100,000 school children each year

• Conservation mentoring in 35 states across the US

Researcher for a Day programs bring authentic research to middle and high school students

• Sea School – the nation’s only licensed pre-school in an aquarium

Seminar on Marine Mammals accredited college course in conjunction with UCONN and URI

Population Served / /
Description

RESEARCH

• Climate change benchmarking in the Arctic

• Marine mammal neuro-immunology

• Development of new, non-invasive tools to study beluga health

• Monitoring fish populations in Long Island Sound

• African Penguin Species Survival Plan with Association of Zoos & Aquariums

• Identifying areas of high biodiversity within the oceans for the establishment of marine protected areas

Population Served / /
Description

EXHIBITS

• Arctic Coast

• Pacific Northwest

• Roger Tory Peterson Penguin Pavilion

• Marine Mammal Observatory

• Ray Touch Pool

• Birds of the Outback (seasonal)

• Jellies

• frogs!

• Shark Encounters

• Discovery Lab

• Hidden Amazon

• Indo-Pacific Reef

• Exploration: Wild Gallery

Population Served / /
Description

SPECIAL EVENTS

• Ocean Commotion Annual Gala

• Penguin Run Walk 5k

• Seals on the Rocks

• Seal Splash

• Annual Golf Classic

• Women in Science Day

• World Oceans Day

• Earth Day Celebration

• Other Special Events

– February Vacation

– April Vacation

– Sea Scare (October)

Winterfest (December)

Population Served / /
CEO/Executive Director
Stephen M. Coan Ph.D.
Term Start Jan 2008
Email info@mysticaquarium.org
Experience

Dr. Stephen M. Coan is President and Chief Executive Officer of Sea Research Foundation, Inc. d/b/a Mystic Aquarium. Dr. Coan has served as Executive Director of two educational organizations, held faculty appointments at Tufts University, Bentley College and Cambridge College. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Brandeis University, and both a Master’s in Management degree and a Doctorate in Social Policy from the Heller Graduate School at Brandeis University.

Staff
Number of Full Time Staff 151
Number of Part Time Staff 137
Number of Volunteers 700
Staff Retention Rate 65%
Staff Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 4
Asian American/Pacific Islander 4
Caucasian 176
Hispanic/Latino 6
Native American/American Indian 1
Other 95 2
Staff Demographics - Gender
Male 65
Female 150
Unspecified 73
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation Yes
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Non Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Collaborations
Sea Research Foundation, Inc. d/b/a Mystic Aquarium collaborates with many organizations throughout the State of Connecticut, the nation, and across the globe to advance its mission. See Annual Report and website @ www.mysticaquarium.org for examples of projects and collaborators.
Awards
Award/RecognitionOrganizationYear
Excellence in Diversity AwardAssociation of Zoos and Aquariums2012
4-Star CharityCharity Navigator2011
American Humane Conservation Program Certification for Animal Welfare and WellbeingAmerican Humane Conservation Program2017
Board Chair
Dr. George M. Milne Jr.
Company Affiliation Senior Partner, Radius Venture LLC
Term Jan 2017 to Dec 2017
Board of Directors
NameAffiliation
Christine Allaire
Peter B. Barr D.B.A.
Rodney Butler Chairman, Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation
Jim Calhoun University of Connecticut Basketball
Stephen M. Coan Ph.D.President & Chief Executive Officer, Sea Research Foundation, Inc.
Joseph M. Cronin Ed.D.
Peter G. Drakos Partner, Coastal Connect, LLC
Terry D. Garcia Executive Vice President, Mission Programs, National Geographic Society
Sanjay Gupta
Attorney Gary Hammersmith
Jack Heflin Heflin Properties
Kevin R. Hennessy
Eric Field Hogarth
John Holstein Principal & Chief Executive Officer, First H & M Corporation
Timothy J. Kane
Richard Katz M.D.
Attorney Carolyn Kelly
George H. Kirby III
Deborah Kochevar D.V.M., Ph.D.Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University
Nicholas P. Leone
Carleen Lyden-Kluss North American Marine Environmental Protection Association
Clay Maitland
Alex Marku
Tom Marra
Tom Mosey
Jamie O'Connell Maritime & Corp. Admin of Republic of Marshall Island
Steve Perrelli General Manager, Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Southeastern New England
Tony Roberto
Stephan Salem Executive Director, Cal Ripkin, Sr. Foundation
Elisa Schroder
Tan Hee Teck
Susette Tibus President, Simply Majestic
Daniel C. Verdier President & Ownder, Cirrus Construction Company, Inc.
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander 3
Caucasian 24
Hispanic/Latino 1
Native American/American Indian 1
Other 4 More than one race
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 25
Female 7
Unspecified 2
Standing Committees
Finance
Audit
Capital Campaign
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Education
Executive
Human Resources / Personnel
Marketing
Nominating
 
 
Financials
Fiscal Year Start Jan 01 2017
Fiscal Year End Dec 31 2017
Projected Revenue $22,060,732.00
Projected Expenses $19,381,123.00
Spending Policy N/A
Credit Line Yes
Reserve Fund No
Documents
Form 990s
SRF 9902015
SRF 9902014
SRF 9902013
SRF 9902011
SRF 9902010
SRF 9902009
Audit Documents
2015 Audit2015
2014 Audit2014
2013 Audit2013
2011 Audit2011
2010 Audit2010
2009 Audit2009
IRS Letter of Exemption
IRS Tax Exempt Documentation
Detailed Financials
Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals ChartHelpFinancial data for prior years is entered by foundation staff based on the documents submitted by nonprofit organizations.Foundation staff members enter this information to assure consistency in the presentation of financial data across all organizations.
Fiscal Year201520142013
Total Revenue$20,611,514$20,243,302$26,299,675
Total Expenses$25,248,297$23,923,277$24,911,449
Prior Three Years Revenue Sources ChartHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201520142013
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$1,347,134$993,466$1,366,189
Government Contributions$2,752,174$2,435,741$3,757,309
Federal$2,752,174----
State--$559,651--
Local------
Unspecified--$1,876,090$3,757,309
Individual Contributions------
------
$14,669,718$13,786,511$14,949,118
Investment Income, Net of Losses$20,207$754,069$75,407
Membership Dues------
Special Events$117,801$180,390$213,538
Revenue In-Kind------
Other$1,704,480$2,093,125$5,938,114
Prior Three Years Expense Allocations Chart
Fiscal Year201520142013
Program Expense$18,189,986$18,092,974$20,850,460
Administration Expense$4,307,634$3,528,812$3,194,732
Fundraising Expense$2,750,677$2,301,491$866,257
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.820.851.06
Program Expense/Total Expenses72%76%84%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue65%64%16%
Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities Chart
Fiscal Year201520142013
Total Assets$36,268,092$39,053,267$43,717,649
Current Assets$2,542,126$2,415,518$2,966,086
Long-Term Liabilities$15,007,488$13,797,123$14,067,805
Current Liabilities$4,184,291$3,685,303$3,321,787
Total Net Assets$17,076,313$21,570,841$26,328,057
Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201520142013
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountUS Dept. of Justice $3,000,000State of CT DECD DLF $559,651Foxwoods Resort Casino $66,667
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountState of CT DECD DLF $491,443Wiederhold Foundation $250,000US Foods $65,000
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountOffice of Naval Research $185,222Office of Naval Research $213,493Coca-Cola Bottling Company $60,000
Solvency
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities0.610.660.89
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets41%35%32%
Capitial Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? Yes
Capital Campaign PurposeHelpCapital Campaigns are defined as a fundraising efforts over-and-above an organization's annual operating budget. Campaigns might include the purchase of land or a building, major renovations, and major equipment purchases. Endowment campaigns may also be included if the funds are legally restricted. Phase 1 of the Campaign for Mystic Aquarium’s Conservation and Education Center project was completed in November with the opening of The John T. and Jane. A Wiederhold Foundation Veterinary and Animal Health Center, our new state-of-the-art marine animal care facility. With the relocation of our biological laboratories to UConn’s Avery Point earlier this year, Phase 2 of the project, The Milne Center for Ocean Science and Conservation, will house a comprehensive animal quarantine and breeding facility, a key resource for our animal husbandry operations and research programs. The building will include large and small holding areas, extensive life support systems, and public access by way of guided tours. Phase 3 of the project, The Seedlings Foundation Learning Laboratory, will further our efforts in education locally and around the globe with classrooms of varying size, office suites and additional public space for group events, programs and guided tours. Construction on Phase Two will begin in Fall 2018 and will be connected to the Wiederhold Foundation Veterinary and Animal Health Center. Scheduled for completion in early 2019, the entire project will cost $6.3 million. To date, more than $4 million has been raised for this project, with $3.3 million allocated for The Wiederhold and Milne Centers, and approximately $700,000 for design, architecture and mission programs. Phase Three fundraising is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2017. The new complex was envisioned in our 2020 Master Plan and effectively frees up key exhibit space in the Main Aquarium building where classrooms, labs and offices are now located. At least three new galleries will be proposed for these spaces for construction as early as 2019.
Goal $6,300,000.00
Amount Raised To Date 4000000 as of Apr 2017
Comments
Foundation Staff Comments This profile, including the financial summaries prepared and submitted by the organization based on its own independent and/or internal audit processes and regulatory submissions, has been read by the Foundation. Financial information is inputted by Foundation staff directly from the organization’s IRS Form 990, audited financial statements or other financial documents approved by the nonprofit’s board. The Foundation has not audited the organization’s financial statements or tax filings, and makes no representations or warranties thereon. The Community Foundation is continuing to receive information submitted by the organization and may periodically update the organization’s profile to reflect the most current financial and other information available. The organization has completed the fields required by The Community Foundation and updated their profile in the last year. To see if the organization has received a competitive grant from The Community Foundation in the last five years, please go to the General Information Tab of the profile.
Address 55 Coogan Blvd
Mystic, CT 063551997
Primary Phone 860 572-5955 554
Contact Email info@mysticaquarium.org
CEO/Executive Director Stephen M. Coan Ph.D.
Board Chair Dr. George M. Milne Jr.
Board Chair Company Affiliation Senior Partner, Radius Venture LLC

 

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