Electric Boat Course Ahead of the Curve

As more electric outboard motors quietly emerge on Maine’s harbors, lakes, and waterways, a pressing question surfaces: who will maintain and repair them? As an organization dedicated to the long-term goal of electrifying Maine’s working waterfront, Island Institute convened a team of partners to develop a pioneering two-part education and training initiative.

Municipal Digital Capacity – a Dirigo Moment for Maine

This article is the first in a series by Island Institute exploring the topic of broadband and digital equity in relation to Maine’s municipalities. The series will celebrate many dirigo moments, but also reveal gaps in the funding and resources needed to support municipalities to achieve digital goals.

Reducing Energy Burdens in Maine and Elsewhere

It’s no surprise that consumers want their power to be reliable and affordable, a duo of attributes that are challenging to balance and achieve anywhere – and notoriously difficult on an island or at the end of long radial power line. In our fourth year as regional partner for the Energy Transitions Initiative Partnership Project (ETIPP), Island Institute has been busy identifying and evaluating solutions that achieve just those very goals with our community partners and national lab collaborators.

Charging Ahead: Electrifying Maine’s Working Waterfront

Island Institute hit the road this winter to advance the development of electric marine propulsion along Maine’s working coastline. Advocating for a new technology can take you places: from Machias to Portland, to Long Beach, CA. We’re seeking solutions to support businesses and community transition away from traditional diesel motors and their associated emissions and unpredictable costs.

Fast-tracking Frenchboro Harbor Dredging

Last month, Senator Collins secured $500,000 in federal funding to dredge Frenchboro’s Lunt Harbor. The small island located eight miles off the coast relies on marine transportation and fishing for survival, so a safely navigable harbor is critical for the island’s everyday function. The harbor, the main point for commercial fishing activity, is also the only access point for all mainland needs, including mail, groceries, medical services, and other supplies.

Listening tour: Mount Desert Island, Stonington & Deer Isle

Island Institute believes in showing up and listening. A recent community visit tour took President Kimberly Hamilton, Chief Programs Officer Jennifer Seavey, Chief Policy Officer Nick Battista, and Public Policy Director Stephanie Welch to Mount Desert Island, Stonington, and Deer IsleOver two days, the Island Institute staff made 15 stops, visiting with over 31 community members, gaining new insights to address economic, community, and climate challenges on Maine’s coast. 

Preemptive Action Pays Off for Hog Island Audubon

In the wake of increasing storm intensity and climate change concerns, Hog Island Audubon proactively fortified its structures to prepare for sea level rise. The organization applied for and received a ShoreUp grant in 2021 to reinforce the historic Queen Mary building prior to eventually lifting it 3ft higher. When January storms battered the coast, Audubon’s campus suffered significant damage. However, amidst the chaos, the Queen Mary building stood tall and unscathed, a testament to…

Conversations for Action: Strengthening Community Resilience in the Aftermath of Storms

In the aftermath of three major storm events, one in December and consecutive occurrences in January, conversations across the state are now focusing on planning to enhance community resilience in anticipation of future storms. Residents are now actively seeking information and connections to prepare their communities to weather the anticipated challenges ahead.  On January 24,… Read more »

Webinar Recording: Storm Science | Understanding the New Normal

On January 30, Island Institute hosted a webinar with Susie Arnold, Ph.D., Co-chair, Science and Technical Subcommittee, Maine Climate Council; Director of Center for Climate and Community, Island Institute, Hannah Baranes, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Researcher, Gulf of Maine Research Institute, Gabe McPhail, Founder, Resilient Communities, L3C, and moderated by Jennifer Seavey, Chief Programs Officer, Island Institute.