The Island Institute works alongside Maine's island and coastal leaders to catalyze community sustainability in the state's 120 island and coastal communities and share what works among these diverse communities and beyond.

Our Story

The Island Institute was founded in 1983 by Peter Ralston and Philip Conkling. Throughout its history, the organization has addressed a variety of needs in Maine's island and coastal communities and now focuses on supporting them through three strategic priority areas:

Today, under the leadership of president Rob Snyder, the Island Institute’s work remains rooted in Maine, but has expanded through partnerships with similar communities off the coast of the Carolinas, Alaska, Maryland, and elsewhere. With more than 150,000 year-round islanders in the United States, there is no shortage of interest in the Institute’s work or partners for its programming.

Our Mission

The Island Institute works to sustain Maine’s island and coastal communities, and exchanges ideas and experiences to further the sustainability of communities here and elsewhere.

Our Vision

We envision that Maine’s year-round island communities will thrive and lead as examples of sustainability. 

Our Values

  • We respect the diversity of islanders’ perspectives, cultures, and heritage.
  • We celebrate island communities’ initiative and innovation, and see the islands as models for others.
  • We take an entrepreneurial approach to new opportunities.
  • We set the highest standards for our performance. 

Strategic Plan

View the Island Institute's goals and program objectives in our: 
Strategic Plan

Impact Dashboard

View our strategic impact goals for 2020/2025 and a coastal map of where we work in our: 
Impact Dashboard

Annual Report

View the Island Institute's program accomplishments and financial information in our: 
2018 Annual Report