We work with Maine’s 120 island and coastal communities to address their unique challenges. From fishermen and women and the businesses that support the working waterfront, to the artists and makers who create a livelihood inspired by our rugged coast, our mission is to ensure our coastal communities thrive—now and in the years ahead.

By leveraging our passion, expertise, and ingenuity and focusing our work on the growth, diversification, and resilience of Maine’s coastal economy, we can ensure that our coastal communities will lead as examples of creativity and sustainability in Maine and beyond.

Marine Economy

Maine’s marine living resources are a mainstay of our state’s economy. As we help invest in the resilience of our marine industry, we're ready to help aquaculturists and fishermen, community leaders, and small business owners tackle the challenges ahead and build sustainability in the face of change.

Sustainable Seafood

While lobster remains our state's primary export, the Maine coast offers a diverse array of seafood that is critical to our working waterfront. We are committed to growing this part of our economy, sustainably and responsibly, to ensure the preservation and improvement of Maine's marine livelihoods.

Working Waterfronts

Maine’s working waterfronts are under intense pressure due to rapid development, climate change, and more. Loss of access points to the ocean translate into loss of livelihoods for our fisheries and waterfront businesses. We have the opportunity to act now and sustain this vital piece of our state and economy.

Small Business

The Island Institute’s Small Business Team supports fishermen, artists, makers, small businesses, and entrepreneurs in Maine’s coastal and island communities. We provide one-on-one professional business development including education, loans, grants, and mentorship.

Broadband

We work with communities, nonprofits, and town officials to help facilitate thoughtful planning around a sustainable economic future. Our Broadband team works with the unique needs of coastal and rural communities as they bring broadband to their residents and businesses.

Creative Economy

In Maine, across the country, and around the world, the creative economy provides jobs, fosters innovation, drives tourism, and promotes culture. We strive to support the artists and makers who help promote the beauty and endurance of Maine’s islands and coast.

The latest news and stories from Maine's islands and coast

Funding to diversify Maine’s island and coastal economies