Local entrepreneur helps highlight Maine oysters, growers with new business ventures

Earlier this spring, we caught up with Brendan Parsens, the founder of BP’s Shuck Shack and overall oyster entrepreneur. We first got to know Brendan through the first round of our Aquaculture Business Development program in 2015. Less than a year after getting his first seed in the water, he's started his own retail and wholesale operations and has plans for much more. Learn more about Brendan and how he's influencing the local oyster market.

Maine islands are getting energized about the transition to clean energy

Mainers pay some of the highest energy costs in the nation, with costs being especially high on Maine’s islands. Learn how Maine communities are developing creative approaches to address these costs and reduce reliance on expensive and polluting fuels through community-based clean energy initiatives.

Commercial Currents: Extending the shoulder seasons with coworking spaces

They’re popping up everywhere! While coworking spaces may be the new trendy thing, they've also become another tool for communities trying to extend the shoulder seasons. When communities can attract seasonal residents and find ways for them to come earlier or stay longer, it can have social and economic benefits for everyone.

2017 Summer Lecture Series photo gallery

View photos from the Island Institute's 2017 Summer Lecture Series.

For more information, including recordings of some of the presentations, visit the 2017 Summer Lecture Series event page.

Weekend Edition Sunday / National Public Radio

If you've ever dreamed of moving to an idyllic vacation spot, Maine's coastal islands offer a cautionary tale.

Jobs are limited to lobstering, boatbuilding and caretaking of summer residences. And lousy Internet service makes telecommuting difficult to impossible. But now some Maine lobstermen and would-be telecommuters are banding together to pay for costly infrastructure they hope will help preserve a threatened way of life.

From Maine Public Radio, Fred Bever reports.

By Fred Bever / Maine Public

Maine is the most rural state in the nation and, also, one with some of the poorest internet access. Out on the coastal islands, internet service ranges from lousy to nonexistent.

Residents of the Cranberry Isles, from lobstermen to telecommuters, are banding together to pay for costly new infrastructure they hope will help preserve a threatened way of life.

Staff / Penobscot Bay Pilot

Maine island communities pay some of the highest energy costs in the nation, but they are also leading the way in transitioning to clean energy systems. Learn more during the talk, "Island Energy: Transitioning to a Cleaner Future," August 9.

August 3, 2017


Brooks Winner, left, and Harry Podolsky, both of the Island Institute will present “Island Energy: Transitioning to a Cleaner Future," on August 9. The talk is part of the Island Institute’s Summer Lecture Series.

Staff / Kennebec Journal

Archipelago, the Island Institute’s store and gallery will host an opening reception for its summer gallery show from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 4, at 386 Main St. during Rockland’s First Friday Art Walk.

Attendees can see new pieces and meet some of the artists. The show, which will highlight the work of painters Wendy Newcomb and Gary Hoyle, as well as Appleton wood turner Richard Dunham, will run Aug. 4 through Oct. 29.

Newcomb is a representational painter whose primary mediums include oil, gouache and acrylic.

August 3, 2017


"Basin Mist" by Wendy Newcomb

By Dagney Ernest / Village Soup

On Wednesday, August 2 at 10:30 a.m., the Island Institute will host a panel discussion on women’s views and voices in Maine’s island communities.

The talk, “Making it Here: Women’s Views, Women’s Voices,” will be led by island residents and writers, Barbara Fernald, Courtney Naliboff, and Sandy Oliver, and moderated by Tom Groening, editor of The Working Waterfront.

July 27, 2017

By Staff / Penobscot Bay Pilot

The Island Institute's Island Fellows Program was recently recognized as the 2017 Outstanding Program by the Community Development Society, a national professional society for practitioners of community development.

The annual award is presented in recognition of superior programming that exemplifies and positively influences community development practice. It was one of nine awards presented at the organization's Annual International Conference which took place in Big Sky, Montana, in June.