Project Puffin Visitor Center, located at 311 Main Street in Rockland ME, is located between the Strand Theater and the Maine Lighthouse Museum. It officially opened its doors on July 1, 2006. The long anticipated center introduces people of all ages to the amazing lives of puffins and other Maine seabirds. The Center celebrates the success of Project Puffin in bringing puffins and other rare Maine seabirds back to historic nesting islands. Here the public can view puffins and other seabirds in real time through a remarkable video system that delivers live video to the Center. Visitors can also learn about the success and challenges faced by Audubon and its conservation partners to restore and protect the seabirds on Maine islands and beaches.
"Seabirds are ideal symbols for ocean conservation," said Dr. Stephen Kress, who initiated Audubon's Project Puffin in 1973 and remains its director. "Because they live in a variety of habitats—including oceans, islands, estuaries and beaches—they demonstrate how all coastal life is connected. Long-term conservation success hinges on public understanding and community support."
Many fun, educational, and interactive exhibits for people of all ages ca be found at the center. Some features include:
- Real-time video images and sounds of puffins and other seabirds from remote Seal Island National Wildlife Refuge, 20 miles south of Rockland, thanks to robotic cameras funded by grants from MBNA Foundation and the Disney Wildlife Conservation Fund.
- A theater featuring the 20-minute film "Project Puffin"- about exceptional people taking innovative action to bring puffins and other seabirds back to the Maine coast
- Maps and exhibits (including a crawl into puffin burrow and an actual size observation blind for children). The exhibits highlight Audubon's conservation work on Maine seabird islands, and facts about wildlife conservation, seabird adaptations, bird-band reading and birds' life histories
- A gallery exhibiting seabird art and photography and a gift shop featuring nature-related books, videos and clothing as well as educational material and information about joining and supporting Audubon's work in Maine
- Schedules and other information about seabird-watching boat tours to Maine islands
- Descriptions of residential programs for youth and adults at historic Hog Island Audubon Camp in midcoast Maine
- Additional information about Audubon's work for wildlife conservation in Maine
"Among the many reasons we're excited about the new visitor center is its location in Rockland," said Kevin Carley, former Maine Audubon executive director. "Now those who live in midcoast Maine and the thousands of people who visit the region every year will have a unique and convenient way to learn firsthand about Audubon's seabird restoration projects and our work for wildlife conservation throughout the state. It's a great way to connect people with nature in Maine."
In addition to support from Audubon, local businesses, and private donors, the visitor center has received a $12,000 grant from the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund, which generates funding through sales of an instant lottery ticket to make grants to Maine conservation projects. The new Center was also recognized as Conservation Project of the Year and received a $10,000 grant from the American Birding Association.
State and local organizations and agencies advising the Project Puffin Visitor Center include: the Farnsworth Art Museum, Friends of Maine Seabird Islands, Island Institute, Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge, Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, and the Rockland-Thomaston Chamber of Commerce.
Additional Audubon properties and centers open to visitors in Maine include: Gilsland Farm Audubon Center in Falmouth, Fields Pond Audubon Center in Holden, Scarborough Marsh Audubon Center in Scarborough, Borestone Mountain Audubon Sanctuary south of Greenville, Todd Audubon Sanctuary in Bremen, and six additional wildlife sanctuaries with walking trails.
MAINE AUDUBON works to conserve Maine's wildlife and wildlife habitat by engaging people of all ages in education, conservation and action. To learn more, please visit the Maine Audubon web site. To learn about National Audubon Society programs, visit the National Audubon web site.
You can help learn more about and support the Maine puffins by taking a puffin watching tour or adopting a puffin.
Project Puffin Visitor Center Address:
311 Main Street
Rockland, ME 04841
OR (toll-free within the USA)
ALSO, PLEASE CHECK US OUT HERE:
May 1 to May 31:
Wednesdays through Sundays (only): 10:00am to 5:00pm
*June 1 through October 31:
Daily: 10:00am to 5:00pm, and until 7:00pm on Wednesdays (seasonally)
*The center is closed every year on the July 4th Holiday and on the Labor Day Holiday (Sept. 4, 2017).
November 1 to November 9:
Center will be closed
*November 10 through December 21:
Thursday through Sunday: 10:00am to 4:00pm
*The center will be closed November 23rd and November 26th for the Thanksgiving Holiday.
December 22 to May 1:
Center will be closed
ADDITIONAL NOTE: When the center is closed for the season, the online store will remain open. We apologize for any inconveniences.
Online Store Frequently Asked Questions:
1. Do you ship outside of the US? No, sorry, we do not ship outside the US at this time.
2. Do you need a PayPal account to purchase items through the on-line store? No, but since we process payments through our PayPal account, you will see a charge on your credit card statement from PayPal.
3. What is your return policy? If we ship the wrong size or item or an item is damaged, we will replace the item and will ship replacement at no additional charge. However, to exchange for a different size, we are not responsible for paying any additional shipping fees.