The Rockland-based nonprofit Island Institute received a $240,000 grant through the Gulf Research Program of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to fund a collaborative project that focuses on disaster preparedness in Maine's island and coastal communities and addresses threats faced from environmental change and natural disasters related to sea level rise.

By Heather Goldstone / WCAI

We tend to think of spring as planting time, but kelp farmers in the Gulf of Maine are in the midst of their annual harvest right now.

Growers and ocean researchers say kelp could be a huge win-win-win – improving the local environment, boosting other fisheries, and all while providing a saleable food source.

Ten years ago, there were no kelp farms in the northeast. Now, there are more than a dozen. So, what gives?

May 8, 2017

Marine Programs

By Colin Woodard / Portland Press Herald

Frustrated by a lack of high-speed internet access, dozens of Maine municipalities are working to build their own networks to attract business and spur economic development. But a bill under consideration in Augusta would make it difficult for them to do so.

U.S. Sen. Susan Collins and energy officials from islands throughout New England will highlight a Portland-area conference this week.

The Island Institute, a nonprofit based in Rockland, will host its annual Island Energy Conference on April 27-28.

The keynote speaker will be Tetsunari Iida, executive director of the Institute for Sustainable Energy Policies. Collins will offer the welcoming address.

April 24, 2017


By Staff / Village Soup

The Island Institute will hold its annual energy conference at Congregation Bet Ha'am, 81 Westbrook St., South Portland April 27 and 28.

The event will bring together 150 island leaders and energy experts from three countries – the United States, Japan and Denmark – and six states – Maine, Alaska, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island – to discuss common energy challenges and the resources available to address them.

April 21, 2017


By Dagney Ernest / Village Soup

The Island Institute and Green Fire Productions will host the Midcoast premiere of “Ocean Frontiers III: Leaders in Ocean Stewardship & the New Blue Economy” Thursday evening, May 4, at 7 p.m. at the Strand Theatre, 345 Main St.

Doors will open 6 p.m. for a light reception, followed by the screening at 7 p.m. and a panel discussion featuring regional experts featured in the film at 8 p.m. Admission is free, but seats may be reserved via Eventbrite.

April 21, 2017

Media, Marine Programs

By Colin Woodard / Portland Press Herald

The deeper cuts proposed by the Trump administration would slash funding for the Environmental Protection Agency’s Superfund cleanup activities and eliminate its support for monitoring and cleanup efforts in Casco Bay and for beach water testing across Maine.

April 16, 2017

By Dagney Ernest / The Republican Journal

On Earth Day — Saturday, April 22 — Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition and Rockland’s Island Institute will host a screening of four short films that show how accelerating climate change dramatically changes the ocean’s environment. The free program will begin 6:30 p.m. in the Abbott Room of Belfast Free Library, 106 High St.

April 13, 2017