Maine’s working waterfront is a critical part of our state’s blue economy and has come under intense pressure in recent years due to rapid development, climate change, and global economic forces. Currently, less than 20 miles of our 5,000 miles of coastline remain as working waterfront. Losing waterfront access points will mean the loss of jobs and the loss of livelihoods for Mainers and their families.
We are excited that a portion of the recently approved $40 million in the state budget dedicated to the Land for Maine’s Future (LMF) Program includes support for Maine’s working waterfronts. With $4 million of these funds earmarked for the Working Waterfront Access Protection Program (WWAPP), which the Maine Department of Marine Resources administers in partnership with LMF, we have the opportunity to act now and sustain our vital working waterfronts. We anticipate that a call for WWAPP projects will be coming out this winter.
Learn more about Maine’s working waterfronts and the work to preserve and protect them at the following links:
- In June 2021, the Island Institute commissioned a landscape analysis, conducted by Merritt Carey, an active advocate for Maine’s working waterfronts, to assess the current scope of the issue, what’s at stake, and what we need to do to take action. View the report here.
- Visit the Land for Maine’s Future program page to learn more about the Working Waterfront Access Protection Program, and sign up for updates. The Land for Maine’s Future Coalition page also has additional information.
- Read more on our blog: “Maine’s working waterfronts need our help”
- Learn about the Island Institute’s work on this issue here.
- Learn more about preserving and protecting Maine’s working waterfront on our website here: Save Maine’s Working Waterfront
- Hear from local business owners and industry leaders about why the working waterfront is important to them and to our state. Watch this video.
- Learn more about Maine’s coastal infrastructure systems, including our working waterfronts, in our data publication, Waypoints: Connect
- ”Booming real estate sales imperil shorefront access;” The Ellsworth American; 12/2/21
- “Maine’s working waterfronts facing a tidal wave of threats, Island Institute report finds;” Portland Press Herald; 12/1/21
- “Our View: It will take work to save Maine’s working waterfront;” Portland Press Herald 12/5/21
- Learn more about specific needs of working waterfronts, particularly discrete working waterfronts in this 2020 reportfrom the Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association.
- Check out the National Working Waterfront Network.