On Friday, February 8, 2019, the Island Institute hosted the third annual Waypoints Forum, an afternoon of discussions focused on the future of our coastal and island communities and the challenges facing Maine's rapidly changing coast. The theme—"Intersections and Impacts—Collaborating for Maine's Changing Coast"—highlighted the defining issues impacting our working waterfronts, our workforce and economy, and our coastal communities preparing for threats from sea level rise and climate shifts. Presentations and discussions helped provide a better understanding of what we can do to build a more resilient coast.
Speakers included: Xavier Botana, Superintendent of the Portland Public Schools; Marci Train, Teacher at Long Island Elementary School in Casco Bay; Jason Mitchell, President and Chief Operating Officer of Whole Oceans; Chris Thompson, Principal at Thompson's Point Development Company; Sandra Stone, Chair Emerita of Maine Angels; and Alton Ballance, Community Leader and Author from Ocracoke Island, NC.
The event also featured a special conversation between Hannah Pingree, Director of the Maine Office of Policy Management, and Robert Snyder, President of the Island Institute, which looked at the challenges and opportunities faced by Maine's coastal communities and how we can chart a course for a better future.
Other highlights included the presentation of the 2019 Community Champion Award, the premiere of "Sea Level Rise in Maine"—an animated short by O'Chang Comics of Rockland, Maine, and "Voices from the Waterfront"—an audio collage by Galen Koch of The First Coast Project which offered emotionally compelling and evocative perspectives on work, community, change, resilience, and hope for the future from Maine’s coastal communities.