The director of the camp was a man named Stephen Kress, whose innovative Project Puffin aims to bring puffins and other sea bird species back to the islands of coastal Maine. As a special part of the camp, we visited Eastern Egg Rock, the island where Kress first pioneered his method of population restoration with the Atlantic Puffin in 1973.
Historically, people commonly killed particular bird species for their feathers to be used for fashionable items like hats. This practice was actually decimating a number of species, and Atlantic Puffins were not excluded. As a result, the islands off the coast of Maine that once hosted many nesting puffins eventually became devoid of puffins.
Puffins had last nested on Eastern Egg Rock in 1885. In 1918, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act was passed, and this act made the possession or sale of any part, nest, or egg of a migratory bird illegal. However, it was not until Kress came along that the puffins began to return.