In 1983 Milford had no natural science center, in spite of its prime location on Long Island Sound and its extensive river system. Timothy Chaucer and other Milford environmentalists decided to incorporate the Milford Marine Institute with the express purpose of creating a nature center and museum. Classes began that year in conjunction with the city’s Recreation Department and since then thousands of Milford children have participated in summer day camps and other programs.

The Institute got a tremendous boost in 1989 when newly elected Mayor Fred Lisman offered the use of a closed pump station at the Gulf Pond wastewater plant. New technology had changed the city’s requirements for water treatment, making the building available.

Over the next two-plus decades, the building became home to a classroom, a bird observatory, displays of artifacts, shells, antique mounted birds, mammals, reptiles, fish, minerals, as well as charts and other displays. Occasionally, live domestic animals have come to visit.

The Milford Marine Institute collections include an important sampling of New England deciduous woodland ash-splint decorated Native American baskets.

As you can see in the photos below, presenters have included such outstanding people as Yale scientist and archaeologist Lyent Russell and founding supporters Milford school Supt. Joseph Foran, Dr. George Whitney, and Dr. Helen Langner. For more information on the Gulf Pond Museum, click here: