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

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.

Island Institute launches program for small businesses

The John T. Gorman Foundation is helping to back a new program from the Island Institute to fund coastal and island businesses.
The Island and Coast Business Launchpad program, which was announced in the Working Waterfront publication on March 8, aims to help entrepreneurs in “geographically isolated communities.” The program will include an “innovation fund,” to provide flexible and community-focused loans, as well as business support, microgrants, digital and financial literacy classes and an aquaculture business-development program.

Trump’s proposed cuts to NOAA alarm Maine’s marine community

A Trump administration proposal to slash funding for the federal government’s principal marine agency and eliminate the national Sea Grant program is prompting alarm in Maine’s marine sector. President Trump wants to slash the budget of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration – the agency responsible for fisheries management, weather forecasting, nautical surveys and assisting marine industries – by 17 percent, The Washington Post reported Friday, April 4th.

Chebeague Island native’s the driving force behind new aquaculture festival

Former Island Scholar and Island Institute intern, Julia Maine, was recently interviewed about the allure of aquaculture and the opportunities it offers.
The Chebeague Island native and science educator wants to show community members the bounty that can come from sea farms and is the driving force (along with her mom, geologist Carol White) behind the first Chebeague Island Aquaculture Festival, slated for this summer.

Pingree reintroduces bipartisan legislation to protect working waterfronts

Congresswoman Chellie Pingree has reintroduced bipartisan legislation with Republican Congressman Rob Wittman of Virginia to protect the kind of waterfront access and infrastructure that many businesses—and thousands of jobs—depend on in Maine. The objectives of Pingree’s bill, the Keep America’s Waterfronts Working Act (HR 1176), are two-fold.

Island life is hard enough without Maine regulators opposing deals to lower electricity costs

On Jan. 18, the Maine Public Utilities Commission made a decision that raises critical questions about how rural communities across the state receive and pay for electricity.
In a 2-1 vote, the commission denied Emera Maine’s request to acquire the Swan’s Island Electric Cooperative, a deal that would have provided more affordable electricity service to the Swan’s Island and Frenchboro communities.

Iconic Maine Photos: An Offbeat Errand, Now a Revered Image

Down East Magazine scoured 175 years worth of images to find the 10 Most Iconic Maine Photos of All Time. Acclaimed to obscure, joyful to haunting, they’re the shots that tell Maine’s story. Peter Ralston’s stories have stories. That’s how it feels, anyway, when you walk into the 66-year-old photographer’s Rockport gallery, intending to talk about a single exquisite image from 1980, but instead you end up — delightedly — following a series of digressions upon digressions, road tales from a decades-long career in photojournalism.

Four films focus on changing coastal climate

The future of fisheries and the changing ocean in the Gulf of Maine and elsewhere are explored in four short films to be screened at College of the Atlantic’s Gates Community Center on Thursday, Jan. 19, at 6:30 p.m.
The free screening of the films, produced by The Island Institute, will be followed by a question-and-answer session with Island Institute marine scientist Susie Arnold and University of Maine doctoral student Sam Belknap.