New England Aquarium welcomes Massachusetts legislators to downtown waterfront for inaugural breakfast


Aaron Michlewitz speaking to seated group
Rep. Aaron Michlewitz speaks to the group gathered for the inaugural breakfast

BOSTON, MASS. (Sept. 8, 2021) – The New England Aquarium held its first annual legislative breakfast on Wednesday for members and staff of the Massachusetts State Senate and House of Representatives for a conversation on ocean conservation and waterfront resiliency.

The event was co-hosted by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Aaron Michlewitz (D-Boston) and New England Aquarium President and CEO Vikki Spruill.

“We are pleased to have welcomed more than 70 legislators and staffers from the Massachusetts Senate and House of Representatives at the New England Aquarium,” said Spruill. “I am extremely grateful to Chairman Aaron Michlewitz for co-hosting this event and for his partnership in the legislature and on waterfront issues here in his district.”

The breakfast featured presentations from Vice President of Animal Care Dr. Leigh Clayton, Vice President and Chief Scientist of the Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life Dr. John Mandelman, and Vice President of External Affairs Rick Musiol, Jr. The briefing highlighted the Aquarium’s world-class animal care within the main building and at the animal care facility located in Quincy, MA; cutting-edge scientific research within the Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life that helps inform ocean policy and industry practices; and waterfront leadership and advocacy ensuring the Downtown Waterfront remains climate resilient, inclusive, and accessible for all. Legislators were then invited to walk through the main building.

“As an integrated conservation organization, the New England Aquarium is working to protect our blue planet and ensure a vital and vibrant ocean for all,” Spruill said. “Our work related to critical ocean research, animal care, and waterfront advocacy couldn’t be possible without the assistance of the state legislature. We thank them for their support throughout the pandemic and moving forward as we navigate a post-pandemic recovery and the near-threat of sea-level rise on our waterfront due to climate change.”

“I want to thank the New England Aquarium for hosting my legislative colleagues and me for this briefing and allowing us to learn more about all the great work the Aquarium does to protect the environment and our waterfront resiliency,” said Rep. Michlewitz. “I am proud to have the New England Aquarium in my district and I look forward to continuing to work with them in the future on these crucial issues.”


Pam Bechtold Snyder –, 617-686-5068