Gov. Ned Lamont and Mystic Aquarium announced a long-term restructuring plan on Tuesday.
Lamont said there is a $31.5 million public-private restructure and investment in the aquarium. It is set to help the aquarium continue to operate following the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, he added.
"Under the restructure, Mystic Aquarium has raised more than $10 million from private donors and eliminated $14.5 million in long-term debt. The State of Connecticut will make available a $7 million a line of credit for working capital," Mystic Aquarium officials said in a release. "The plan calls for Mystic Aquarium to replace the state funding with private capital following recovery from COVID-19," they added.
“This is a great deal for Connecticut. This is an investment in one of our treasured assets, and which the state leveraged its support to get significant investment from the private sector, including debt forgiveness and incredible support from the philanthropic community," Governor Ned Lamont said.
"Like the hundreds of thousands who visit Mystic Aquarium each year, I am in awe every time I walk through the gates. It is not only a destination – it is an education and conservation center. This plan assures that Mystic Aquarium will prosper and continue to provide social and economic benefit to the citizens of Connecticut,” he added.
Before COVID-19, Mystic Aquarium had 800,000 people visit every year and serves 100,000 Connecticut students with distance learning and other educational programs, aquarium officials said. It closed to the public on March 17 and reopened on July 1.
The aquarium has 5,000 animals, including endangered and threatened marine mammals, experts said.