Estuary Education


The Connecticut Reserve is a living outdoor classroom that provides meaningful, hands-on educational experiences for learners of all ages.

The main objectives of the Reserve’s educational programming are to:

  1. Develop and support the next generation of environmental stewards and environmentally literate citizens by providing hands-on, experiential, place-based learning opportunities in the NERR to students and educators, particularly those from underserved and environmental justice communities, and
  2. Promote environmental stewardship, environmental literacy, and science-based management and decision-making across a wide variety of sectors, including businesses, municipalities, and the public.

Being a newly established Reserve, our staff are working to develop programming. If you would like to join our email list for updates about programs, please email our Education Coordinator at

There are many organizations within the Reserve’s boundary that have exciting programming for students, families, and adults.

Explore each of their websites to learn more:

Connecticut River Museum’s educational programs allow students to explore the natural environment and human experiences along the Connecticut River’s 410 miles. Their education programs emphasize interdisciplinary studies using local, cultural, and natural resources to engage students and meet a variety of State of Connecticut curriculum standards in social studies, language arts, science, and art and are led by trained Museum Educators. Location: Essex, CT

Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center offers year-round opportunities for children, adults, and families to connect with nature. Their facility introduces the habitats, flora, and fauna of southern New England through natural history exhibits and interactive displays and their woodlands, wetlands, and meadows serve as living outdoor classrooms for exploration and discovery. Location: Mystic, CT

Mystic Aquarium’s educational programs encourage people to use and develop skills such as observing, hypothesizing, experimenting, and drawing conclusions through inquiry-based teaching and hands-on activities. Location: Mystic, CT

New England Science & Sailing’s marine sciences and ocean adventure STEM curriculum provides learning opportunities for students in unique and highly engaging ways through innovative, real-world experiences that are aligned with Next Generation Science Standards and Ocean Literacy Principles. Location: Stonington, CT

Project Oceanology’s education programs offer hands-on, inquiry-based science education to K-12 students. They work closely with schools to design a program for their students that fits with current curricular goals. Location: Groton, CT

The Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center offers The Connecticut Audubon Society’s Science in Nature programs. These live, virtual programs meet the Next Generation Science Standards and are appropriate for students in Kindergarten to 12th Grade. Topics include weather and climate; landforms; weathering, erosion, and deposition; adaptations; life cycles; wetland ecology and more. Location: Old Lyme, CT 

If you are an organization that offers K-12 educational programming and you’d like to be listed on this page, please reach out to