March 8, 2023

Celebrating International Women's Day

Recognizing the extensive contributions that women across the state make to Maine's working waterfront and marine economy
Today, we want to recognize the extensive contributions that women across the state make to Maine's working waterfront and marine economy. Molly Miller and Lia Morris are part of the Island Institute's Blue Economy team and work to ensure a vibrant and sustainable future for the economic sectors directly and indirectly connected to the ocean—and the people and communities who depend on this resource. Read on to learn more about what inspired their interest in this field and how they are working to create a more resilient coast.
February 27, 2023

Building Workforce & Education Pathways for a Changing Coast

Our approach is inspired by communities like Cliff Island that are supporting individuals and are planning for the future
The Island Institute's Workforce Pathway's Team is working to understand and address these long-term workforce needs and connect community members with promising education and career opportunities. The two primary ways we do this is through our education pathway and workforce partnerships. We focus on clean energy, seafood, and remote work because these three sectors show great promise for island and coastal communities, and they align well with Island Institute's broader work and commitments.
Yvonne Thomas
February 22, 2023

To save the last 20 miles of Maine’s working waterfront, we need to update the law

Legislation that allows land trusts to hold working waterfront covenants can provide needed agility and funding to protect these critical properties
The need for an additional, responsive tool for securing working waterfronts has led Island Institute to partner with Representative Morgan Rielly of Westbrook on legislation that will enable land trusts to have the option of holding working waterfront covenants. Land trusts provide a vehicle for private sector partners to work together to mobilize additional funding sources and act more nimbly. This is particularly important in urgent, emergency sale situations where multiple parties must move quickly to put together the funding and structure and close the deal.
Molly Miller, Ph.D.
February 21, 2023

Energy resilience planning in coastal communities

What communities everywhere can learn about clean energy from Maine's islands and coast
How do you cope with electricity outages and plan for energy resilience when you’re a small, isolated community—either at the end of a 40-mile power line or on an island several miles out to sea? Eastport and Islesboro, both off Maine’s coast, were selected to tackle these issues through a U.S. Department of Energy program, the Energy Transitions Initiative Partnership Project (ETIPP).
Emma Wendt & Emily Roscoe
February 16, 2023

Charging Ahead

How we’re working to make electric boats a reality for Maine’s working coast
We have spent the last year making progress toward our long-term goal of catalyzing the electrification of commercial boats on Maine’s working coast. This transition from gas- and diesel-powered engines to electric motors comes with questions and challenges—but also tremendous benefits for businesses and coastal communities.
Lia Morris & Emma Wendt
February 7, 2023

Unique Yet Familiar

Island Institute’s new Government Relations Specialist shares how policy solutions build community resiliency
For the second time in my career, I’m venturing into new work as a transplant “from away.” The first time was 27 years ago when I moved from a small, rural village in New Hampshire to a mid-sized city in southern Appalachia. My younger self, the one who had only ever briefly ventured out of New England, was easily identifiable as a newcomer. What started as a brief migration to spread my wings and soak up some warm weather turned into decades of service opportunities spanning the fields of public health, public education, community development, public policy, and economic development. I never imagined I would be welcomed, and then immersed, so much as to eventually become a city council member and a Deputy Mayor.
Stephanie Welch
December 23, 2022

Two Years of Maine’s Climate Action Plan

Celebrating progress and charting the course for the year ahead
This month marked the second anniversary of Maine Won’t Wait, the Maine Climate Council’s 4-year climate action plan. Partners from across the state are working hard to put the plan…
October 31, 2022

Too Broad, Too Rapid, Too Uncertain

What proposed regulatory changes to the Lobster fishery could mean for Maine communities
If you’ve turned on the radio or watched the news lately, you may have heard about the proposed regulatory changes to the lobster fishery here in Maine. A recent federal…
Sam Belknap, Senior Community Development Officer
September 29, 2022

Sharing Climate Forward Innovations

A day of visioning at the Island Institute’s Climate Symposium
With hurricane season hitting our southern neighbors earlier than usual, the impacts of climate change were top-of-mind entering the Island Institute’s Climate Symposium on Friday, September 16th. Over 140 mostly…
Lisa Millette, Island Institute Community Development Officer
September 22, 2022

Lobster has a low carbon footprint compared with other proteins

Results from study with Luke's Lobster will inform climate action
In spring 2021, we undertook a carbon footprint study with the Maine-based seafood company and partner of the Island Institute, Luke’s Lobster. As two organizations who care deeply about the…
Emma Wendt, Island Institute Community Development Officer