By: Linda Connor Lambeck
The web cam is trained on Mystic’s three resident beluga whales — Kela, Juno and Naluark — and is sponsored by the Aquarion Water Co. Anyone who visits Aquarion’s website (www.aquarionwater.com)can access live-streaming video and information about the whales.
Barnum students helped premiere the live-stream cam on a wide screen monitor in the school’s all-purpose room with a bevy of school, government and water company officials.
Garcia and her classmates saw the whales during feeding and training time. In the corner of the screen, a sign was held up welcoming Barnum School.
Tracy Romano, a whale researcher at Mystic Aquarium, told the students belugas are about the coolest animals on the planet and chow down on 50 to 80 pounds of fish a day.
U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., who attended the event, suggested exhibits like this will help teach people about the fragile nature of habitats and the environment.
“It will help educate and raise awareness to the dangers to these great mammals,” Blumenthal said. “I hope that these kids will become the future champions of stopping the environmental pollution and contamination that endanger our planet.”
Mayor Bill Finch told Barnum students there will soon be a fish migration web cam from Beardsley Park on the city’s website.
Stephen M. Coan, of the Sea Research Foundation, which runs Mystic Aquarium, said the aquarium is one of the few that house beluga whales in an outdoor arctic environment made up of a series of interconnected pools.
Aquarion began working with Mystic Aquarium last summer to create a way for people to learn about the marine mammals, which require fresh water to survive.
“It’s an important resource and a limited supply,” Coan said.