Commercial Currents: Preparing Taxes

Tax season is here, and your to-do list is likely getting long. Tax experts from Maine find that early planning pays off in the long run. Here are the top ten tasks that can help small business owners or the self-employed save substantial time.

2018 Waypoints Forum Photo Gallery

The Island Institute's 2018 Waypoints Forum featured an afternoon of panel discussions on the future of our coastal and island economies, presented with trends and analysis by key coastal leaders. The theme for this year's event was Futures of the Maine Waterfront, with topics ranging from aquaculture to the future of our state's working waterfronts.

The forum was followed by a reception and special dinner highlighting the bounties of the Maine coast and featured a multi-course meal with locally sourced food, including Bangs Island Mussels and Casco Bay Cod.

Mapping Ocean Stories – Past, Present and Future

Can real-life stories be just as exciting and is there any power in sharing these everyday stories to a larger audience? To tackle this question, a team of four people from the College of the Atlantic, Island Institute, and Maine Sea Grant collaborated to develop a 10-week course focused on how Maine’s remote coastal and island communities live in relationship to the ocean. By collecting oral histories, the team hoped that this information would help give island and coastal communities a stronger voice in ocean policy and decision-making processes affecting nearby ocean waters.

A conversation with Meghan Cooper, Millinocket's new Island Fellow

The Island Fellows Program places college and master’s degree graduates in Maine’s coastal and year-round island communities for 1-2 years, giving them the opportunity to gain experience and use their skills to help these communities address some of the significant challenges they face. Here, Meghan Cooper, Millinocket's new Fellow, talks about her new community and the work she's doing there.

Industry Day gives local aquaculturists the opportunity to learn and connect in Portland

What do a high school sophomore, a direct marketer, and a sternman have in common? Seaweed and shellfish aquaculture, of course! They're all members of our Aquaculture Business Development (ABD) program, who spent a clear, cold December day touring farms and learning from industry partners at our latest Industry Day in Portland.

Students share hopes for a healthier ocean with Congresswoman Chellie Pingree

Congresswoman Chellie Pingree had some inspiring words for island and coastal students during a video conference call on December 19th. As the students from Long Island Elementary in Casco Bay and Edna Drinkwater School in Northport shared questions as well as the marine-related project work they’ve been doing over the last year, Congresswoman Pingree highlighted the importance of talking to everyone about what they’re learning and the critical issues the ocean is facing.

What would you do with $21 million?

Maine’s share of the recent settlement with Volkswagen for emissions violations is about $21 million. While the funds come with numerous restrictions, the Maine Department of Transportation (DOT) recently found itself asking just this question as staff worked with Governor’s Energy Office and Efficiency Maine Trust to put together a draft plan for how to spend the money. MaineDOT is currently accepting comments, and the deadline for submitting comments is January 15, 2018.

Connecting Maine's communities through broadband

Simply stated, “broadband” is a high-speed internet connection. It provides the reliability and speeds required by businesses, telecommuters, students of all ages, telehealth users, municipalities and emergency services, and residents who seek 21st century economic and social opportunities. Over 30 island and coastal communities in Maine are working to bring broadband and its benefits to their towns through their economic and community development efforts.

Island and coastal students are curious about kelp

It’s been a very busy fall for kelp growing schools along the Maine Coast. From Downeast to Casco Bay, an increasing number of students and teachers are studying seaweed and deploying kelp lines - in coves, salt-water ponds, old lobster pounds and under piers. By working with local environmental education organizations and industry partners, these school-based waterfront innovators are giving us a glimpse of how kelp aquaculture will help diversify Maine’s fisheries in the future. 

Connecting and sharing solutions at the Great Lakes Islands Summit

Islanders from Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Canada stood at the bow of the Emerald Isle Ferry as it made the two hour crossing from Charlevoix to Beaver Island. The islanders, participants in the first Great Lakes Islands Summit held at the Central Michigan University Biological Station September 20-22, were naturally curious about other island communities.