Tag Archives: Mystic Aquarium

Roundup: Arts Funds, Big Buck, Turtle Update, More


Five Westport nonprofit arts groups have received a total of $536,100 in COVID relief funds. The money — part of a $9 million Connecticut COVID Relief for the Arts package — is administered by the state Department of Economic and Community Development.

Recipients include

  • Friends of the Levitt Pavilion: $55,200
  • JIB Productions (Play With Your Food): $11,900
  • MoCA Westport: $97,700
  • Westport Community Theatre: $5,500
  • Westport Country Playhouse: $365,80

(Hat tip: Dick Lowenstein)

The Westport Country Playhouse received a grant for COVID relief.


Speaking of art: Mysterious monoliths appeared recently in Utah, California and Romania.

Also: Burying Hill Beach.

Nothing concrete is known about any of them.

(Photo/Chris Grimm)


Remember the loggerhead turtle rescued by Mystic Aquarium on Monday?

David Loffredo sends this update:

Our turtle is a male, 5 to 10 years old. [Uh-oh. “06880” first called him a her — who knew?]

The aquarium warmed him up from 53 degrees to 70. He did suffer quite a blow to his head. They think he was hit by a propeller earlier in the fall, so they are watching him to make sure he recovers.

That’s most likely why he wound up in Long Island Sound this late in the season, and on our beach. His buddies are already way further south. He would not have survived for much longer.

So now we wait.  It’s like having a child.  We try not to call daily….

My wife asked if they’ve named him. The rescue people said they don’t name rescue animals until they’re sure they’ll survive, so right now our guy is #2. We are praying he gets a name!

If and when he does, we’ve been invited for a visit and a behind-the-scenes tour. You know it will be thoroughly documented.

(Photo/David Loffredo)


Speaking of animals: A nearby resident spotted this guy in the Greens Farms Church cemetery. He and his girlfriend then wandered over to her side door. They seem to have settled in for the winter.


As of yesterday, Westport had 699 cases of COVID-19 since March (642 confirmed, 57 probable). There have been 24 deaths (16 confirmed, 18 probable). Click here for full statistics.


And finally … happy 69th birthday to Gary Rossington. The guitarist is a founding member of Lynyrd Skynyrd — and the last surviving original member.

Dramatic Turtle Rescue Lifts Spirits

David Loffredo spent 17 years in Westport. He lives at Fairfield Beach now, but remains an avid “06880” reader.

Yesterday — during the wind and rain — he spotted a large turtle, wounded and in distress.

His wife Megan called around: Earthplace, the Maritime Aquarium, Mystic Aquarium, Fairfield Animal Control, a veterinarian.

Mystic asked Animal Control to take a look. By now it was dark. The officer said it was a loggerhead, probably 10 to 12 years old — the 3rd to wash up there in the past 2 years.

The officer thought she was dead. If so, the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection would be back to bury her right there.

At 10 p.m., — with the tide rising — a crew from Mystic Aquarium’s Animal Rescue Unit arrived.

They determined the turtle was quite healthy, though perhaps disoriented in the storm.

They took her, and warmed her up. They will put her on a flight to Georgia or South Carolina.

Loffredo knows the turtle team in Charleston. They’ll call Mystic today, and see if they can take the rescued animal.

Sergeant Mike Paris stood watch during the transfer. He spoke with Loffredo about the challenges of this year. A 15-year veteran of the force and the son of a Bridgeport police officer, he’s been in the thick of COVID and the summer of protests.

“2020 has not been great,” Loffredo says. “But in a year that’s taken so much, it’s nice to give something back.”

The loggerhead turtle (background) and her rescuers. (Photos/David Loffredo)