June 27, 2024

Retreating Together

Island Institute’s Fellowship Cohort Gathers Three Times Per Year
Three times each year, the full cohort of 10 Island Institute fellows meet in person for retreats. Our winter retreat this year was held on Vinalhaven where Kaylin Wu is living and working for her fellowship.
Lisa Millette, Community Development Officer
June 17, 2024

Charting a Course to Resilience

Island Institute’s Role in Rebuilding Maine’s Working Waterfronts
January’s storms tested the resilience of Maine’s coastal communities like no other time in recent history. During the weekend after the Jan. 13th storm, Island Institute’s team quickly decided to expand and redirect its Business Resilience grant program toward providing storm response grants to help rebuild critical coastal infrastructure. With these early grants, we wanted to help pick up those who were feeling knocked down and jumpstart the recovery process. In total, Island Institute awarded $250,000 in grants that were funded entirely by our donors and supported 52 grantees in 20 towns from Chebeague to Pembroke.  
Jeff Frank, Senior Community Development Officer
June 6, 2024

Building community through connectivity: 44 North Coffee

An interview with owner Megan Wood
This story is the first in a series about the impact of high-speed internet connectivity on Maine’s coast. To learn more about Island Institute’s investments in broadband infrastructure on the…
Zuzana Duffy
May 23, 2024

Electric Boat Course Ahead of the Curve

‘Who’s going to fix it?’
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.
Yvonne Thomas & Lia Morris
April 26, 2024

Archipelago Artist Spotlight: Dylan Metrano, La Nef Chocolate

Handmade with HE{ART}
Dylan Metrano, a multi-talented artist and co-founder of La Nef Chocolate, shares how he masterfully blends papercutting, chocolate making, and music into an inspiring and creative concoction.
Archipelago Staff
April 26, 2024

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.
Christa Thorpe, Community Development Officer, Island Institute
March 27, 2024

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.
Marie Caspard, Community Development Officer
March 27, 2024

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.
Lia Morris, Senior Community Development Officer
March 27, 2024

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.
Alex Zipparo, MPA
February 26, 2024

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. 
Stephanie Welch, Public Policy Director