CRANBERRY ISLES – After a multi-year process to bring broadband access to three of its islands, the Town of Cranberry Isles is now seeing the results of its recent $1.2 million investment in broadband infrastructure to connect the community with internet speeds that exceed 100/100 mpbs. In February, the first resident on the Downeast island of Little Cranberry was connected with broadband, and today, the island is 100 percent connected through its new fiber-wireless network – allowing any resident that signs up for the service to access internet speeds on par with major metropolitan cities.

March 22, 2018

Economic Development

ROCKLAND — For its fifth year, the annual Artists & Makers Conference will feature a new location and expanded offerings tailored to meet the needs of Maine’s artists and makers and offer practical tips and strategies to help start and grow arts-related businesses in Maine. This year’s event will take place on Friday, April 6, 2018, from 8:15 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Point Lookout in Northport. Hosted by Archipelago and the Island Institute, the conference is open to all artists and makers who live and produce work in Maine.

ROCKLAND, ME — Have you ever thought about gaining a new source of income through growing mussels, oysters, or seaweed? The Island Institute is now accepting applications for its 2018 Aquaculture Business Development program. In its third year, the program helps fishermen and those from fishing communities gain the tools they need to diversify and launch their small-scale aquaculture businesses.

Chebeague fishermen and former ABD participant Jeff Putnam works on oyster cages. After going through the program in 2016, Putnam started an oyster-growing business with his family.

ROCKLAND, ME – The Island Institute will host a special evening conversation on Saturday, December 9, from 5:30-7:00 p.m., with chef and author Barton Seaver, and Rob Snyder, PhD, president of the Island Institute, discussing Barton's new book, American Seafood: Heritage, Culture & Cookery from Sea to Shining Sea, and the heritage and future of American seafood. The event will take place at the Island Institute, 386 Main Street in Rockland, with a cocktail reception and book signing to follow in Archipelago, the Island Institute’s store.

November 22, 2017

Media, Aquaculture & Marine

Chef and author Barton Seaver

Island Families Gather to Celebrate the MAP to College

Island students and their families recently spent a Saturday together as part of the annual Induction and Send-off for our Mentoring, Access and Persistence program (MAP) participants. MAP is a college scholarship program for island students that emphasizes personalized wraparound services for both the student and their family, beginning at the end of a student’s junior year of high school.

New Maine State Ferry Service Fares Cause Concern on Islesboro

On April 17th, the Maine State Ferry Service released a new fare schedule for service to the six island communities they serve. The new fare schedule is the first fare increase since 2009 and comes after the state ferry service backed away from a proposal to give Maine residents a discounted rate compared to non-Maine residents. Different communities will feel the impact of the fare changes in different ways, with Islesboro seeing a substantial increase. On Thursday April 19th, Islesboro residents organized a gathering to highlight the concerns the community has with the new fares.

2018 Artists & Makers Conference Photo Gallery

The 2018 Archipelago Artists & Makers Conference took place on Friday, April 6, 2018, at Point Lookout in Northport, Maine. We welcomed close to 200 artists and makers from across the state for a full day of information, networking, and presentations tailored to the needs of Maine's arts-based businesses. Check out some of the photos here!

Commercial Currents: Building Digital Literacy Skills

Digital literacy means having knowledge and competence with digital tools. By improving internet proficiency, businesses benefit from growth, workforce development, health access, community and civic engagement, student education, and all-around quality of life. Improved digital literacy also drives support for better-connected communities. It’s our plan to expand offerings in the coming year, and we would love to hear from you about what would be helpful to keep your business going in this increasingly competitive world.

Commercial Currents: Investing in Professional Development

Winter is often a slower time for business along Maine's coast, allowing all of us a bit of space to think about upcoming opportunities and challenges facing our businesses. Maybe there is a certification that you have been meaning to pursue for years that would allow you to expand your business. Or maybe you are interested in working with a consultant to be more effective in advertising your products. The Island Institute is offering our Microgrants for Entrepreneurship and Community Impact (MECI) to island and coastal businesses who want to improve the way their business is run. Learn more about applying for a MECI grant, and reach out to us to discuss your idea!

Middle Schoolers Come Together to Prepare for High School Off-Island

Transitioning into the first year of high school can be intimidating and stressful. At the annual Middle School Retreat, hosted by the Maine Seacoast Mission’s Island Outreach program with support from the Island Institute, the goal of the event is to prepare outer island middle schoolers for the transition to mainland high schools and create an open, safe place to discuss and ask questions.