The Coastal Center at Milford Point

Pollinator & Garden Open House Event

Saturday May 21, 2016      10:00 am – 2:00 pm

Bugs and birds need your help!  Come learn about the decline of our pollinators (bees, butterflies, bats, and birds) and what you can do to make a difference!  This family friendly event at the Coastal Center has something for everyone:  kid crafts, free pollinator seed packets, free pollinator posters and more.

Join us to learn how your own yards can be improved for birds, pollinators and other wildlife.  Native plantings are a cost effective way to make your yard enjoyable and easy to care for.
Animal and plant experts will have displays and talk about the biology and habitat needs of pollinators.

Thank you to our Sponsors: Beardsley Zoo, DEEP WildLife Division, CASE, USDA Natural Resources and Ralph Harrison.

COASTAL CENTER at MILFORD POINT  1 Milford Point Road, Milford, CT  06460

Osprey Cam 2016

Live from the Coastal Center at Milford Point …


If you’re a fan of our Osprey Cam, consider joining Connecticut Audubon Society; if you are already a member, please make a donation to help us continue to provide this high-quality live video.

Ospreys have been using the nesting platform at the Coastal Center since 1997. Its location, in the middle of the 840-acre Charles E. Wheeler Salt Marsh, allows the Ospreys to easily feed and care for young. The Coastal Center is closed for repairs because of water damage from a burst pipe in February but when it reopens it offers visitors fantastic views of the raptors from the large viewing windows or the observation tower or platforms.

You may also be interested in learning more about our Osprey Nation citizen science program. Enjoy!

Your help can make the Coastal Center at Milford Point better than ever!

Dear Friends,

I promised a progress report for the Coastal Center at Milford Point and I’m happy to say that the hard work of our contractors, staff and volunteers is paying off.

The contractors have erected the wall frames and are installing the drywall, and they’ve replaced the baseboard trim. Electricians are putting in new outlets and running Internet wiring. We’ve reviewed estimates for carpeting, and I expect it to be installed in the coming week or two.

Milan Bull, our senior director of science and conservation, visited yesterday and is working with technicians to install new equipment for our Osprey Cam.

The response to our call for help earlier this month was large and gratifying. Many of you made donations or became members, and many others offered your volunteer time and labor. Thank you!

If you haven’t made a donation and want to help, please do!  You will have the satisfaction of knowing that your contribution has helped make our great Coastal Center better than ever!

Yes! I Want to Support the Coastal Center!

Thank you!

Cathy Hagadorn
Center Director


Become a member of the Connecticut Audubon Society

Join Now!
or if you are already a member

Become a Sustaining Member!


Summer Camp at the Coastal Center

Instagram_Milford_Catch-Release_June29-July3_15 (54)Outdoor Fun and Adventure! Sessions Begin June 2016

Hands-on Learning. Enriching Experiences. Engaging Adventures. Memories that Last a Lifetime!

Sign Up Online Now for …

Coastal Center at Milford Point

Coastal Center at Milford Point Brochure

Required Forms
Camp Medical Form

Authorization for the Administration of Medicine (if necessary)

Other Forms and Information
Milford Point Registration Information

Milford Point Welcome Letter

Milford Point Drop-off/Pickup Form

Spring Owl Prowls

Wednesday,  May 25 from 7:30– 9:15 p.m.

When the sun retreats, owls awaken to go in search of prey. Some say that owls are wise; others say that they have sparked legends of ghosts. Whatever the truth, we’ll uncover the mysteries of these amazing nocturnal hunters, while learning about the species that co-exist in our area. The evening culminates at a local park where we’ll carpool and try to call one in. It’s a hoot!  Meet at the Coastal Center. Not recommended for young children.

Fee: $30/person. $20 Seniors, $8 Children (ages 10 and up)

General Information

Coastal Center at Milford Point

Coastal Center at Milford Point

Connecticut Audubon Society’s Coastal Center at Milford Point is located on an 8.4-acre barrier beach and is situated next to the 840-acre Charles Wheeler Salt Marsh and Wildlife Management Area at the mouth of the Housatonic River.  The Coastal Center promotes the awareness of Long Island Sound’s ecosystem, the birds and habitats it supports, and its preservation needs; and provides access to Long Island Sound and its many habitats: tidal salt marshes, barrier beaches, tide pools, and coastal dunes.  The Coastal Center is a bird-watcher’s paradise – 315 species have been seen here, including many rarities. The Coastal Center offers a full range of educational programs and many events for families, children, and adults.  The Coastal Center provides educational exhibits, a tide pool demonstration tank, a salt-marsh laboratory, and program and meeting rooms. The Coastal Center’s grounds contain the 8-acre Smith-Hubbell Wildlife Refuge and Bird Sanctuary, a boardwalk and observation platform with interpretive signage, and a 70-foot covered observation tower for panoramic vistas.  Viewers from around the world watch the Center’s seasonal Osprey Cam, operated from our 18-foot tall nesting platform.


Join our Volunteer Team!

At the Connecticut Audubon Society, we believe that every person can make a positive difference in protecting and preserving our environment. By volunteering at our Coastal Center at Milford Point, you can help promote understanding, appreciation, and stewardship of our natural world. We have a variety of volunteer opportunities available for people of all interests and experience levels, including working at the front desk as a receptionist, in the exhibit room as a docent, or outdoors on the nature sanctuary in various capacities.

If you are interested in becoming a Coastal Center Volunteer, click here to download a printable application form. Please email the form to Louise Crocco, Office Manager, at, or come on in to the Coastal Center and deliver it in person! We’re located at 1 Milford Point Road in Milford, CT. We look forward to seeing you soon. 


Education Programs

Science in Nature

Connecticut Audubon Society’s Science in Nature programs consist of hands-on, inquiry-based activities that relate to earth and life sciences, ecology, conservation and citizenship. Each program is aligned with the state’s science, math and literacy standards. These programs are an invaluable resource for building student and teacher learning capacity by providing opportunities to enhance critical thinking skills, using and designing models, and developing evidence-based explanations of natural phenomena. Click here for the full curriculum palette, brochures, and program design. 

School Programs (for children ages 3 and above).

Our professional naturalists and educators offer a wide range of programs that can be delivered at our Center, or in your classroom or schoolyard.  

Click here for program descriptions and a copy of our school program flier. To schedule a program or for more information, call use at 203-878-7440, ext. 502.

Preschool Programs

The Coastal Center also offers programs tailored for preschools. Click here for a pre-K program flier.

After School Programs

The Coastal Center currently presents after school program series in nearly all the elementary schools in Milford, and in other area towns.  For more information about our hands-on dynamic programs,  click here for copy of our after school program flier.

Birthday Parties

Look no further! CAS’s Coastal Center at Milford Point is the perfect place to hold your child’s next birthday party! Our staff has designed a wide range of “theme” parties to provide your child and their friends with a memorable and fun hands-on learning experience. Call 203-878-7440  for details or click here for our birthday party brochure.

Brownie, Girl Scout, Cub Scout & Boy Scout Programs

Our updated scouting programs are 60-90 minutes long and are designed to help scouts earn their badges and learn about the environment. 

Click here for our new Girl Scout & Brownie Programs brochure, or click here for our new Boy Scout & Cub Scout Programs brochure. Call 203-878-7440 for more information or to book a program for your scout today! 

Events at the Coastal Center at Milford Point

Spring Owl Prowls

Wednesday,  May 25 from 7:30– 9:15 p.m.

When the sun retreats, owls awaken to go in search of prey. Some say that owls are wise; others say that they have sparked legends of ghosts. Whatever the truth, we’ll uncover the mysteries of these amazing nocturnal hunters, while learning about the species that co-exist in our area. The evening culminates at a local park where we’ll carpool and try to call one in. It’s a hoot!  Meet at the Coastal Center. Not recommended for young children.

Fee: $30/person. $20 Seniors, $8 Children (ages 10 and up)

News and Announcements

Spring Birding Programs

Sorting Out Bird Songs

Friday, April 29 or Wednesday, June 8
7 – 9 p.m.

Discover the basics of birding by ear!  Using a variety of sound resources, instructor Frank Gallo will teach you tips, tricks, and even pitfalls to identifying birds by sound.  Is that an oriole or a tanager singing? Come find out, as we delve into the secrets to birding by ear. Fee: $35 members, $45 non-members, $25 Seniors

Birding for Beginners

Wednesday, April 27, 7–9 p.m. (classroom)
Sunday., May 1,  9-11:30 a.m. (field trip)

Learn the basics for identifying birds on your own! During this fun and comprehensive hands-on course, longtime instructor and expert birder Frank Gallo will teach you ID skills as well as how to choose and use field guides and binoculars, and where to find birds locally. The course culminates with a field trip to a local park. No experience is necessary. Bring the “Peterson Field Guide to Eastern Birds.” (Field guides are available for sale at the Coastal Center.) Fee: $75 members, $85 non-members, $65 Seniors.

Hidden Gems Series: Bird Walks in Milford Area Parks

7:45 – 8:45 a.m.

Saturday, April 30: Mondo Ponds- early migrants – Leader, Steve Spector
Saturday, May 7: Wilcox Park – migrants  
Saturday, May 14: Eisenhower Park– Leader, Steve Spector
Saturday, May 21: Mondo Ponds – late migrants
Saturday, May 28: Silver Sands – Breeding birds and late migrants
Saturday, June 4: Milford Point – Shorebirds, terns and gulls
Saturday, June 11: Turkey Hill Preserve, Orange – Deep Forest nesters

The Milford area is blessed with many wonderful parks. Expert birder and Connecticut Audubon’s Senior Naturalist has handpicked the best sites to explore in spring, from hidden gems, such as Wilcox Park, to more well-known sites, such as Milford Point. Frank will guide walkers to a variety of species of seasonal birds at each location. No experience necessary. Binoculars are available upon request. Preregistration recommended. Contact Louise at 203-878-7440 x 502 to register and to request binoculars. Meet at each park; directions will be provided.

Fee: 7 week series $60 ($30 seniors, $45 CAS members); weekly, $9 per walk ($5 seniors, $7 CAS members)

Field Birding – The River Road, Kent

Saturday, May 7

Join expert birder Frank Gallo for a tour of Kent’s famous River Road, one of Connecticut’s premier birding sites nestled in the scenic northwest highlands. It is home to breeding Cerulean, Worm-eating, and Hooded Warblers, Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers, Common Mergansers, Least Flycatchers and Cliff Swallows. More than 90 species of birds have been recorded here in a single day in May. Join us for an exciting bird-filled morning. We’ll stop for lunch in Kent village. Meet at the Coastal Center at 7:30 a.m. We will return after lunch.

$49 Members; $59 non-members; $40 seniors  

Spring Owl Prowls

Wednesday,  May 25,
7:30– 9:15 p.m.

When the sun retreats, owls awaken to go in search of prey. Some say that owls are wise; others say that they have sparked legends of ghosts. Whatever the truth, we’ll uncover the mysteries of these amazing nocturnal hunters, while learning about the species that co-exist in our area. The evening culminates at a local park where we’ll carpool and try to call one in. It’s a hoot!  Meet at the Coastal Center. Not recommended for young children.

Fee: $30/person. $20 Seniors, $8 Children (ages 10 and up)

Sold Out! Return of the Osprey Party

Our Return of the Osprey Party  – Sold Out!

Shoprite logo

The Connecticut Audubon Society sends its sincere thanks to ShopRite, the lead corporate sponsor of the party, and to the dozens of people who bought tickets.

We will see you all at the Coastal Center at Milford Point tomorrow evening!

If you missed the party but still want to help, please make a donation.

Thank you again!  




Burst Pipes Close the Coastal Center (But Not the Preserve): A Note from the Coastal Center Director

Dear Friends and Visitors to the Milford Point Coastal Center,

During the extreme cold over the weekend of February 14, one of the pipes at the Coastal Center burst, causing extensive water damage.

During repairs, the preserve surrounding the building remains open. That includes the parking lot, the parking lot observation platform near the marsh, and the boardwalk and observation platform leading to and overlooking the beach and Long Island Sound.

But the building itself, the observation tower and the yard immediately surrounding the building are all closed while we work hard to make the repairs.

Thank you for your positive thoughts and support as we repair and prepare for a grand reopening soon.

Best regards,

Cathy Hagadorn
Director, Milford Point Coastal Center

New Director of the Coastal Center at Milford Point


Cathy Hagadorn, the new director of the Coastal Center at Milford Point. Photo copyright Connecticut Audubon Society.

The Connecticut Audubon Society is pleased to welcome Cathy Hagadorn as the new director of the Coastal Center at Milford Point. A longtime education manager at the Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk and an expert in the ecology of Long Island Sound, Cathy will oversee all of the programs, events and activities at the Coastal Center, which sits prominently on the east side at the mouth of the Housatonic River.  Well-known among birders, anglers, summer campers and school teachers, the Coastal Center is among the busiest of the Connecticut Audubon Society’s centers.

“We are thrilled to have Cathy join our staff,” said Alexander Brash, president of the Connecticut Audubon Society. “She brings a wonderful  combination of talent and experience – educator, naturalist, manager, communicator, and fundraiser – as we strengthen our programming, our regional board, and our presence in the community.”

Cathy holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from St. Michael’s College in Vermont. Additionally she is a Master Wildlife Conservationist volunteer for the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. Among other projects, her volunteer work has included many hours at the Shepaug Dam Bald Eagle viewing area in Southbury.

At the Maritime Aquarium, where she was a staff member for more than 13 years, her responsibilities included the development and management of science education partnerships with schools from throughout the region. She collaborated on database development for the Long Island Sound Biodiversity Census Project, and managed the aquarium’s research and education vessel. Cathy was instrumental in developing a new business model for working with select schools throughout the year.

At the Coastal Center, she will be overseeing the implementation of our award-winning Science in Nature educational program, expanding on partnerships among the community, and reaching out to academic institutions in the region.

Born in New York, Cathy moved to Ridgefield, Connecticut, as a young girl. She is a Bethel resident of over 10 years.


Guided Canoe – Kayak Tours Summer 2016

Canoe tour at CAS Coastal Center_by Frank Gallo

Check back in with us for the 2016 paddle season.

Spend a lovely day with us on a relaxing guided canoe tour of the 840-acre Charles E. Wheeler Salt Marsh at Milford Point. 
Contact the Coastal Center for more information. 

2016 Dates TBA

Private tours also available.

Coastal Center Canoes
CAS Members $27/person, $69/canoe (3 people)
Non-members $35/person, $95/canoe (3 people)

Private Canoe/Kayak (Bring your own boat)
$20 CAS Members, $30 Non-members

From Dragon Doodle to Panorama: How a Trumbull Student Painted Our New Mural


Laura Bollert and the Coastal Center’s new mural. Connecticut Audubon Society photo by Kaylee Weil.

Laura Bollert had never even seen the Milford Point Coastal Center before her first day as a volunteer camp counselor in 2012.

She was a rising high school senior, and it seemed a good way to earn community service credits for graduation.

As that first day ended, other counselors were saying goodbye to campers they had just met or texting late afternoon plans to their parents. Laura was agreeing to paint a panoramic mural of Milford Point’s tidal marsh.
Read more about the new mural >>

Check out the New Haven Register feature on the mural! 
Click here to read on >>

Frank Gallo on “Bird Calls” radio show with Chris Bosak

Frank talks with Bird Call’s producer Chris Bosak about the 2011 Birding Big Day Fundraiser, getting children involved in birding, and our successful Return of the Osprey Party. Click the link below to listen to the show.
Or visit and click on “Bird Calls archives” from the home page.


From I-95: Take Exit 34. Turn right at the traffic light where the ramp meets Route 1. Go ½ mile to the third light at Naugatuck Avenue. Turn left onto Naugatuck Avenue and go 0.8 miles to the second light at Milford Point Road. Turn right and follow Milford Point Road ½ mile to the stop sign at Seaview Avenue. Turn right and go 0.35 miles. When the road forks, take the right fork into the parking area.

From Merritt Parkway: Take Exit 54, the connector to I-95, and follow the above directions.

From I-84 westbound: Take I-91 south to I-95, and follow the above directions.

From I-84 eastbound: Take Route 8 south to I-95 northbound, and follow the above directions.

Connect to MapQuest


1 Milford Point Road
Milford, CT 06460

Center Hours:

10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
Sunday, Noon-4:00 p.m.

Our adjoining 8-acre
Smith-Hubbell Wildlife Refuge and Bird Sanctuary is open daily, year-round, from dawn to dusk.

Register for Summer Camp

Sanctuary Map
Get Directions

Coming Up At the Coastal Center At Milford Point

Top of Page