September 19, 2023

From Peaks to Penn

Emma Conrad of Peak's Island reflects on how Island Institute scholarships & grants helped her reach her goals
Emma Conrad grew up on Peaks Island and has been the recipient of multiple Island Institute grants and scholarships. Emma's reflection explores how she approached the college admissions processes, navigated the pandemic as a first-year college student, and utilized the resources available to her to build upon her interests and discover her passions.
Emma Conrad
August 28, 2023

Policy on the Pier

Legislators Visit Stonington to Learn about Innovative Aquaculture
As Maine's coastal communities navigate the challenges posed by a changing environment and shifting economic landscapes, one sector stands out as a beacon of opportunity: aquaculture. At Island Institute, we recognize the vital role that aquaculture plays in supporting our communities by allowing farmers small and large to find new forms of income and are committed to working with policymakers to ensure its continued growth and success.
Jeff Frank, Senior Community Development Officer
June 15, 2023

Learning together on Cuttyhunk Island

TLC field trip connects students, parents, and educators from island communities
The Outer Islands Teaching and Learning Collaborative is a group of Maine’s one and two-room island schools that work together to support high-quality learning opportunities for outer island students. For 14 years, this Island Institute project has brought together students, teachers, and parents from these small island schools to share curriculum, learn together, and build social connections. Our field trips are an important component of this program, which is part of the Island Institute’s work to empower students, foster strong leadership, and create more resilient coastal communities.
Ken Stevenson, Community Development Officer
May 30, 2023

The Ninth Artists and Makers Conference Brings the Creative Community Together

We were thrilled to bring back the Artists & Makers Conference this year and celebrate the theme, Together Again! With over 100 attendees, eight inspiring sessions, live music, Pecha Kucha-style (lightning fast, story-telling based presentations), and more, we considered the day to be a great success!
Lisa Mossel, Archipelago Director
May 30, 2023

Building Resilience

Island Institute's 2023 Business Resilience Grant Awardees
We are thrilled to announce the Island Institute's 2023 Business Resilience Grant awardees, a remarkable group of businesses and entrepreneurs who are at the forefront of building resilience in Maine's coastal communities. From Eastport to York and islands in between, these business owners are committed to sustainability, innovation, and supporting their communities.
Jeff Frank, Senior Community Development Officer
May 17, 2023

There’s “Wicked Fast Broadband on the Peninsula,” so now what?

A regional victory and vision for highspeed internet access for all
Blue Hill, Brooklin, Brooksville, Castine, Deer Isle, Penobscot, Sedgwick, and Stonington are now served by world-class internet. The fiber-to-the-home network built by Fidium (of Consolidated Communications) was made possible by a multi-million federal dollar grant won by the State of Maine in 2022 because these communities were ready. But that readiness didn’t happen overnight. It was countless hours of community meetings, hard work, and support from our staff and other partners, plus $55,000 in Island Institute planning grants that eventually leveraged over $20 million of public and private investments to connect 15,000 homes on the Blue Hill Peninsula.
Christa Thorpe, Community Development Officer
May 11, 2023

The Roux Institute Start Summit brings innovators together

A testament to the power of collaboration and innovation within coastal communities
The Roux Institute Start Summit on Innovation in Coastal Communities was truly a testament to the power of collaboration and innovation within our island and coastal communities. By bringing together diverse perspectives and expertise, the summit generated potential solutions to some of the most pressing challenges facing Maine's coast. It also provided a forum for forming new connections and partnerships, ensuring that the spirit of innovation and collaboration will continue to thrive well into the future.
Jeff Frank, Senior Community Development Officer
April 28, 2023

Maine State Ferry Service Reports Released

Goal is to understand current system and identify opportunities for future improvements
National firm KPFF Consulting Engineers completed their reports on the Maine State Ferry Service (MSFS) in March, a culmination of 2 years of work collaborating with Island Institute, islanders, and the Maine Department of Transportation (DOT). This effort largely does two things: 1) gives a clear baseline of where the service is today in a format easily understood and publicly available and 2) opens the door to whole-systems thinking around where the service could go based on Maine islander needs and comparable systems.
Lisa Millette
April 10, 2023

Building on the tradition of hope and staying power

Kim Hamilton, Ph.D., appointed as president of the Island Institute
Stepping into a 40-year-old organization is a tremendous responsibility and an extraordinary opportunity, especially at this critical inflection point for Island Institute and our region.
Kim Hamilton, Ph.D.
March 9, 2023

Reflections from the Maine Fishermen's Forum

The Maine Fishermen's Forum is a unique event that brings together leaders and innovators working in our state's blue economy. From fishermen and aquaculturists to scientists, management agencies, gear suppliers, and others, the forum is an opportunity for stakeholders in this sector to convene, collaborate, and share ideas. We were excited to attend this past week and connect with friends and partners from across the coast. Read on for reflections and takeaways on the 2023 forum from Island Institute staff.