Beaver Island’s Island Airways Service

BACKGROUND Off the northwest coast of Michigan, you will find Beaver Island, home to over 700 residents and the most remote inhabited island in the Great Lakes. Having a regular air service to the mainland is a necessity. Transit time by ferry is upwards of two hours from the mainland town of Charlevoix Michigan to… Read more »

Maritime Blue and Planning for the Electrification of Washington’s Ferries

BACKGROUND Washington State Ferries are currently the state’s biggest diesel polluter, burning 18 million gallons of diesel fuel each year. However, that likely will soon change, as Governor Jay Inslee introduced an aggressive plan in 2020 to convert Washington’s aging ferry system into a zero-emission ferry fleet. The plan calls for Washington State Ferries’ most… Read more »

Luke’s Lobster and B Corp Certification

BACKGROUND In the last decade, there has been a growing interest among consumers in ensuring that seafood is sustainable and locally sourced. More recently, there has been increasing focus on ensuring that businesses do right by their community and work toward social justice and inclusion. These values are often summed up as the triple bottom… Read more »

ScrapDogs Community Compost – Enterprise for Sustainability

BACKGROUND Many who set out to do good in their communities might consider the nonprofit business model, while others choose to become green entrepreneurs and create for-profit businesses that are focused on sustainability. Tessa Rosenberry and Davis Saltonstall have tried both, and they believe that, while there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to finding a sustainable model… Read more »

Isle au Haut General Store – The Island Co-op

BACKGROUND A cooperative has become a popular model for businesses that serve Maine communities, because it ensures that a small community can maintain some essential services despite its low population density. Cooperatives, or co-ops, are collectively owned by customers, and overseen by a board of directors who are democratically elected by customers. Profits made by… Read more »

Mook Sea Farm’s Solar and Energy Efficient Pump System

Mook Sea Farm, an aquaculture facility on the Damariscotta River in midcoast Maine, has installed energy efficient pumps as well as a solar array. This effort reflects the company’s commitment to reducing its environmental impact and preparing for the effects of climate change. BACKGROUND Mook Sea Farm was founded in 1985 by Bill Mook, oyster… Read more »

The Cranberry Isles Fishermen’s Co-op’s Solar Project

The Cranberry Isles Fishermen’s Co-op, located on the island of Islesford off of Mt. Desert Island, Maine, installed a 45.4 kW solar array on their facility in 2019. Funded by grants and investments from the co-op, the system will break even after seven to nine years. BACKGROUND The Cranberry Isles Fishermen’s Co-op was founded in… Read more »

Pendleton Yacht Yard’s Solar and Storage System

Pendleton Yacht Yard, on the island of Islesboro in midcoast Maine, saw huge electric bills due largely to spikes in power use from machinery. As part of installing a 40 kW solar array system at their facilities in 2017, they added batteries to smooth out their power demand. They’ll break even for the project in… Read more »

Improving Digital Literacy – National Digital Equity Center

BACKGROUND Digital Literacy Digital literacy is having the knowledge and competence to use a digital connection to the internet. Improving digital literacy drives support for better connected communities. If residents have familiarity with accessing the internet, it supports the growth of business, workforce development, healthcare access, civic engagement, student education, and all-around quality of life… Read more »

Address Affordability – Islesboro’s Municipal Broadband Service

BACKGROUND High speed internet connectivity comes to your community and to your home at a cost. Monthly (or annual) payments can be expensive for customers, and in many cases, there could also be an increase in taxes for those same customers if their town financed the capital cost of the infrastructure construction. These costs can… Read more »