Connecticut Audbon Society
The Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center

The Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center

News & Information at the Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center

Who We Are

The Connecticut Audubon Society’s Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center is dedicated to the conservation and preservation of the Connecticut River Estuary ecosystem and watershed, through science-based research, education and advocacy.

 The Connecticut River Estuary, where the Connecticut River meets Long Island Sound, is a showcase for biodiversity, serving as a fisheries nursery and an important nesting and migratory stopover for numerous birds.

The RTPEC, named for internationally and locally renowned artist, scientific illustrator, environmental educator and conservation advocate Roger Tory Peterson, is seeking to acquire land and a building to create an environmental education center.

The center is dedicated to facilitating scientific research, establish high-quality environmental education for children, teens and adults, and promote outreach and advocacy to preserve, protect and conserve the estuary and its beauty for generations.

Click here to read about Eleanor Robinson, our Center Director. Click here to read about our Education Team.

Volunteer Opportunities

Are you looking for a way to get more involved with the Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center? We are looking for volunteers!

Education: These volunteers would help to facilitate family and adult programs with our center. You could be involved in hikes, bird walks, or crafting activities. These volunteers would benefit from a naturalist background.

Administration: We are looking for volunteers to greet people at our center. These greeters should be comfortable answering the phone and questions about our center. We also need help with  tasks like correspondence and book-keeping. 

Get involved today by filling out our volunteer application form. We look forward to working with you!

Pfizer Grant Brings Science Equipment to Students and Families

September 18, 2018 – A $5,000 grant by Pfizer Community Grants will fund scientific equipment purchases to support outreach and educational programming at the Connecticut Audubon Society’s Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center in Old Lyme.

The new equipment will improve hands-on learning activities for visitors to the center and, because it is portable, will be an important component of school programs and summer camp as well. New lab tables and chairs, solar microscopes, Vernier USB Digital Microscopes, laptops, prepared samples, as well as bug boxes, petri dishes, graduated cylinders, and slides, will let visitors and students engage in the scientific method, exactly as scientists do.

 “The equipment funded by Pfizer Community Grants will be a prominent part of our facility,” said Eleanor Robinson, director of the Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center. “Since we are located in the Old Lyme Marketplace, which gets a lot of visitors, many people of all ages will enjoy the opportunity for hands-on scientific discovery.  It adds a unique dimension by giving people a chance to explore environmental science and its application to conservation issues of the day.”

The new equipment has already been put to good use. Two interns from Mount Holyoke College, who have been working with the Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center, were joined by several 6- to 8-year-olds who were eager to learn about submerged aquatic vegetation, and get their hands mucky in the process. The program, titled The Secret World of Underwater Plants, had participants using the new solar microscopes to view the texture and structure of various collected specimens.

Connecticut Audubon’s mission is to conserve Connecticut’s environment through science-based education and advocacy focused on the state’s bird populations and their habitats. Connecticut Audubon is based in Fairfield. In addition to Old Lyme, it has centers in Pomfret, Glastonbury, Milford, Fairfield, and Sherman, and an EcoTravel program based in Essex.

Pfizer Community Grants provides grants to communities in Southeastern Connecticut, the greater New Haven area, and southern Rhode Island. Priorities are given to program that bring STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) to students, as well as programs that provide for the underserved or to support local civic and cultural institutions. For more information, visit

An Evening for the Estuary



Thank you to everyone who came out to join the celebration!

We Gratefully Acknowledge Our Sponsors for this Evening

The Eagle’s Nest ($15,000)
Scott and Icy Frantz
Science Researcher ($2,500)
Romaine A. Macomb • Norman Needleman & Jacqueline Hubbard
Sydney and Caroline Williams
Science Educator ($1,000)
Becker’s Diamonds & Fine Jewelry • E. Terry Parkinson
Lester E. Foster & Phyllis M. Foster Foundation
Pasta Vita • Peter C. Daitch • The Chaney Family Foundation
Estuary Explorer ($500)
The Moving Target Band • Old Lyme Marina
Pough Interiors • Patsy McCook & Sidney Whelan
Essex Meadows • Innovative Mosquito Management • Coldwell Banker
Grant Matchmaker ($250)
All Pro Automotive • Atlantic Seafood
Essence for Beauty and Wellness • Essex Steam Train & Riverboat
KV Designs • Old Lyme Landscape
Ann Penniman Associates Landscape Architecture
George Penniman Architects • Pennywise Oil Company
Tents 4 Your Events • Appleby Plumbing
Treasures Old Lyme • Fromage Fine Foods
Denali Old Saybrook • Essex Printing  • Tower Landscape Design
RTPEC Booster ($100)
Julia Rathkey/Coldwell Banker • Laysville Hardware
Ballek’s Garden Center • Four Green Fields Landscape
The-E-List • Foodworks
Flanders Fish Market • Lighthouse Cleaners
Essex Hardware • La Marea 




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