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.

Commercial Currents: Getting a grant

It’s true: For-profit businesses aren’t attractive for grant funding, no matter how noble the company’s mission or strong the ties to the local community. Still, there are a few grants out there that can boost businesses, sometimes in surprising ways. This month's "Commercial Currents" looks at how two islands successfully leveraged grants to boost their business.

The TLC’s Golden Circle

Before the start of the new school year, the teachers from the Outer Islands Teaching & Learning Collaborative (TLC) gathered in Rockland for their (now) annual Teacher Retreat. The focus of the retreat is to allow work time and planning for the year ahead, but what became the driving focus for the day, though, was not the “what” or “how” of our work, but the “why.” By taking time to clarify and (re-)define the “why,” the purpose for our work this year, all the other components more or less fell into place.

ROCKLAND, ME – Rob Snyder, President of the Island Institute, joined Congresswoman Chellie Pingree on Thursday, November 2nd at 10:00 a.m., to testify before the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans on behalf of Pingree's bipartisan bill, HR 1176, the Keep America’s Waterfronts Working Act. The bill would establish a Working Waterfront Grant Program to provide matching, competitive grants to coastal states to help to preserve and expand access to coastal waters for commercial fishing, recreational guiding, aquaculture, boat building, and other water-dependent businesses.

New year, new communities for our Island Fellows

Not only does September bring cooler nights, subtle changes in the leaves, and the start of a new school year, but it's also the beginning of a new fellowship year here at the Island Institute. This year, the Institute is placing nine Island Fellows — from St. George to Eastport and Millinocket in Maine — to as far west as Beaver Island in Michigan. Our fellows are starting their year by getting to know their new communities and beginning the process of engaging themselves and others in their work.