Potts Harbor Lobster gets 44% of their electricity from solar power
January 11, 2016

Commercial Currents: Addressing high energy costs

In order to save money, Maine’s island and remote coastal businesses seek energy efficiency. Potts Harbor Lobster of Harpswell gets 44% of their energy from solar panels.
Stephenie MacLagan|Harry Podolsky
Ben Algeo with over 2
December 22, 2015

What islands can teach the world about how to tackle climate change

Islands are often the first to feel negative effects of climate change. But we can also look to islands to find inspiration for lowering emissions on a community scale.
Brooks Winner
December 21, 2015

Fisherman and farmer, too? The aquaculture cohort weighs their options

Who wants to grow mussels, kelp, or oysters in Maine’s waters? Quite a few people, it turns out. On December 10th, 20 members of the Island Institute’s Aquaculture Business Development Program (or Cohort) met for the first time in Rockland to learn about growing kelp, oysters, or mussels. Over the next six months, the group will get support in starting small-scale aquaculture businesses. The goal? Add diversified income options and start reducing the coast’s reliance on lobster.
Maren Granstrom
Island Institute's Karen Burns and Heather Deese (center) visited Beaver Island in September
December 8, 2015

Islanders are Islanders: 5 Lessons from Great Lakes visitors

Beaver Island, Michigan is one of 26 year round island communities in the Great Lakes. It is 32 miles offshore and requires a 2 1/2 hour ferry ride or 15 minute flight in a small plane. This month, the Island Institute hosted an information exchange with five guests from Beaver Island and two guests from the Michigan Office of the Great Lakes. Prior to their visit, residents of Beaver Island identified five priority areas for their island communities’ sustainability.  During their visit, the Beaver Island delegation focused on learning what Maine islands are doing to address these very issues. The list was strikingly familiar to those of us working at the Island Institute: economic diversification (including broadband), K-12 education, marketing/tourism and emergency services.
Karen Burns
November 25, 2015

Support Weatherization on #GivingTuesday

Since the first Weatherization Week on Vinalhaven in 2012, we have held a Weatherization Week on 13 of 15 year-round Maine islands and reached more than 350 homes. This work saves Maine island homeowners $122,500 per year, reducing energy bills by about $350 per home every year. With your support we hope to raise funds to support two Weatherization Weeks and surpass 400 homes weatherized on Maine islands.
Jlynn Frazier
AlexAnna Salmon speaks at the Island Energy Conference on November 6
November 13, 2015

Maine’s diesel islands find a role model, 3,500 miles away

“I decided, after reading about the 15 Maine Islands, that we’re most similar to Matinicus,” said AlexAnna Salmon, Village Council President of Igiugig, Alaska and speaker at the Island Energy Conference. “We are not an island, but we are like an island in that you can only get there by air charter.”

Maren Granstrom|Ben Algeo
November 11, 2015

Commercial Currents: Establishing an Online Presence

Are you in search of buoyant stories from Maine’s island and remote coastal communities about economic stability and resilience? The Island Institute’s Economic Development staff welcome you to this new resource for island and coastal small businesses.
Stephenie MacLagan
Teachers practice identifying invasive species during a Vital Signs workshop
November 6, 2015

A little moth, a lot of love

On Vinalhaven in 2012, something started eating the trees. Leaves on the south end of the island were desiccated, and the culprit was the newly arrived, invasive winter moth. Science teacher Amy Palmer decided that the best Vinalhaven residents to take on the pest were her students. Over the next few months, Amy and a small group of students worked after school to monitor, document, and manage the moths.
Maren Granstrom
Local leaders like Søren Hermansen skillfully led Samsø’s efforts to become an international model of how to get clean energy right in a small community.
October 15, 2015

Lessons from Samsø, a year later

How to translate lessons from an island in Denmark back to Maine? After a year spent implementing energy efficiency efforts here on Peaks, five learnings have helped Sam Saltonstall stay focused on island energy work.
Sam Saltonstall
Harvest at Bangs Island Mussels in Summer 2015
October 6, 2015

Announcing the Aquaculture Cohort

Aquaculture in Maine—primarily mussels, oysters, and kelp—has huge economic potential. The area covered by all of Maine’s current aquaculture leases could fit inside Rockland harbor, but don’t let the small size fool you: it is a growing industry and the established producers can’t keep up with demand. Maine’s cold, clean, waters can produce a superior product, and when combined with the Maine “brand,” sales are ready to expand throughout the Northeast and beyond.
Nick Battista|Briana Warner