• March 13, 2019

    From shellfish growers and farmers to doctors and home-grown clean energy businesses, a wide range of Mainers testified today in support of a bipartisan bill to spark action on climate change. "An Act to Limit Greenhouse Gas Pollution and Effectively Use Maine’s Natural Resources" (LD 797) would set Maine on a clear path forward for tackling climate change by reducing carbon pollution and growing local economies, while protecting families and businesses from the worst effects of the changing climate. Read more in this news release from the Natural Resources Council of Maine.

  • February 1, 2019

    Since its inception in 2015, Island Institute’s Aquaculture Business Development program has had 75 individuals go through the program, with 20 starting businesses that have contributed an estimated $3.1 million to Maine’s economy. By 2020, the program’s goal is to have helped start 60 businesses with an overall impact on Maine’s economy totaling $36 million. The Island Institute is accepting applications for its 2019 Aquaculture Business Development program. The free program helps fishermen and those from fishing communities gain the tools they need to diversify and launch small-scale aquaculture businesses.

    Aquaculture & Marine

  • January 8, 2019

    Maine’s coastal and island communities are a valuable component of Maine’s identity and economy. Seventy-one percent of Maine’s tourist spending, $4 billion, is spent along the coast each year. Fisheries are a top employer. In 2017, lobster landings accounted for $433 million in value to the state. Together with Maine’s island and coastal leaders, the Island Institute is focused on catalyzing a future where families and the environment can thrive. By emphasizing programs that develop strong community economies, enhance education and leadership, and deliver solutions, the Island Institute is helping to ensure that Maine’s island and coastal communities continue to be an essential ingredient in the recipe that makes Maine a place everyone can live, work, and flourish.


  • December 19, 2018

    For many in rural America, it's a struggle to find the cash and resources needed to button up a home against the winter cold. Labor and materials cost more - that is, if you can find them at all. But in Maine and other rural states a variety of partners — church groups, non-government organizations and government groups — are ramping up efforts to close what some call the "rural efficiency gap."


  • September 28, 2018

    A new report from the Island Institute reveals that 10 Maine coastal communities with lowest incomes are in downeast Washington County while the 10 communities with highest incomes are in Cumberland, York and Sagadahoc counties. The report also shows that employment in the 30 coastal and island communities in Maine with the lowest incomes are almost five times as likely to be dominated by fishing, farming and forestry as by any other field. The Island Institute’s 2018 edition of “Waypoints: Livelihoods on Maine’s Coast and Islands” is a first-time look at a range of coastal community employment indicators, according to the Rockland-based nonprofit. Data from 105 coastal communities and 15 “unbridged,” year-round islands was analyzed by the institute’s research team and presented through maps and infographics.

    Data and Research, Media

  • The 2018-2019 Island Fellows
    September 11, 2018

    With the help of a fellowship at Peaks Island Elementary School, students will learn how to become better stewards of not just their own island community, but the planet as a whole. There will also be a renewed focus on ways to live more sustainability, and making intergenerational connections with the island’s older residents, according to Kelly Hasson, the new teacher leader of both the Peaks and Cliff Island schools. Under the two-year fellowship, the Peaks Island community will have someone committed full time to implement an Edible Schoolyard project while also crafting a plan for better, more supportive aging-in-place programs for seniors.

    Community Engagement

  • July 24, 2018

    Year-round Monhegan Island residents Carley Mayhew and Mott Feibusch started production at Monhegan Coffee Roasters in June, adding a new business to the island's economy. Feibusch and Mayhew told the Lincoln County News that starting a business on the island presented unique challenges, including the cost and supply of propane and the logistics of bringing supplies onto the island.

    Economic Development

  • July 10, 2018

    A United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development grant has connected three small Maine islands – Great Cranberry, Little Cranberry and Sutton – to the world by helping connect them to high-speed internet. A $1.3 million USDA Rural Development Community Connect grant was used to build a high-speed fiber and wireless connection for residents.

    Economic Development

  • June 19, 2018

    The Island Institute has awarded scholarships to 58 island students pursuing post-secondary education at colleges, universities, and technical schools across the United States and Canada. The scholarships, made possible by the Island Education Fund, totaled $50,900. Students from 10 of the 15 year-round, unbridged islands received awards, which are renewable for up to four years of post-secondary education.

    Community Engagement, Education & Leadership