Island Institute was founded in 1983 to ensure Maine’s island and coastal communities thrive.

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Our Priorities

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Maine’s marine economy depends on a healthy Gulf of Maine and a vibrant working waterfront that sustains Maine’s fishing industry. Island Institute is working with island and coastal communities to create sustainable, climate-forward solutions that leverage existing strengths and prepare for future change in our marine sector.

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Maine’s island and coastal communities are on the front line of the impacts from climate change. Island Institute is leading the way in helping communities build resilience in the face of rising seas, warming waters and ocean acidification. We work collaboratively to implement climate solutions that work both for people and the environment.

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Sustainable Communities

To support Maine’s island and coastal communities addressing rapid change on multiple fronts, we work collaboratively on a variety of projects to connect individuals and businesses with placed-based tools, solutions, and people ready to lend a hand, we are helping island and coastal regions create vibrant and sustainable futures.


  • Island Institute has placed over 135 Island Institute Fellows in 27 communities over the course of 20 years. Collectively, they have contributed approximately 350,00 hours of direct support to community-identified projects.
  • Since 2012, we have invested over $1 million in Maine’s island and coastal communities through our Tom Glenn Community impact fund—with close to $600,000 in small business support and over $400,000 in community infrastructure support for projects focusing on broadband, clean energy, and sea level rise.
  • With more than a decade of experience addressing climate issues, we’re helping communities build resilience in the face of rising seas, warming waters, and ocean acidification through scientific research, leadership training, and grants.
  • To learn more about our legacy of community building here on the coast, check out Mapping the Milestones.

Join Us

Become a Member

Community resiliency is a team effort. Our work is made possible by partners and supporters who are committed to the coast. Learn more about ways to get involved.


We're looking for people who are passionate about implementing climate solutions, building resilient economies, and fostering strong leadership on the Maine coast.

Contact Us

Have questions? Want to learn more about our work? Have an idea for how Island Institute could support your community? Reach out, we would love to hear from you!


Our team is made up of dedicated individuals with varied expertise, from marine scientists to policy experts to educators and fishermen. It is through our collective and diverse knowledge that we create meaningful impact.