Island Institute publishes ‘deep dive’ into coastal, island economies

Posted 2017-03-15

By Staff / Mainebiz 

The Island Institute has published its first deep-dive comparison of the economic, community and environmental indicators for Maine’s coastal and island communities with the rest of the state and nation.

The first edition of “Waypoints: Community Indicators for Maine’s Coast and Islands” is intended to be a resource for local community members, state and federal representatives, agency staff and research partners whose work relates to and impacts coastal communities.

The infographic-rich publication includes detailed data on population and age; income and self-employment; the economic impact of fisheries and aquaculture; coastal tourism; broadband accessibility; energy and home heating; housing availability and affordability; education; fisheries; environmental change; conserved land; sea level rise; and ocean warming.

Data from numerous sources has been aggregated and analyzed by the research team at the Island Institute and articulated through maps and charts illustrating the unique qualities of Maine’s coastal and island communities. Examples show how the lobster fishery has shifted over time. They also show that Maine island residents experience some of the highest energy costs in the nation.

Supplementary data on each of the 120 island and coastal communities is available online at

“We produced this publication to put a new lens on the relationship between coastal and island communities. We hope it gives our partners a valuable way to start conversations about local challenges and opportunities, and serves as a resource for them in planning projects, attracting funding, and getting work done.”    – Dr. Heather Deese, VP of research and strategy, Island Institute