February 10, 2016
It's “Industry Day” for our aquaculture business development group, and the plan is simple: bring together a group of twenty prospective aquaculturists from up and down the coast for a single day to tour as many aquaculture farms and meet as many industry members as possible.
February 3, 2016
Like moths to a flame, the press was all over the start of construction on the Block Island Wind Farm last July. After a decade-plus of starts and lawsuit-induced stops, America’s first offshore wind project was finally being built. The stories covered the prerequisite details: size of the project, cost, technology being used, and of course the politics behind it. Absent from most discussions, however, were voices from the project’s host community, Block Island.
January 29, 2016
The Island Institute’s Economic Development staff welcome you to this series of blog posts, a resource for island and coastal small businesses. To easily find future posts, go to the blog home page and select “economic development” from the drop down menu to filter blog posts by this topic, or go to islandinstitute.org/blog/economic.
January 28, 2016
Maddey Gates is the eldercare Island Fellow. She has lived and worked on eldercare initatives on Chebeague, North Haven, Swan's Island, and now Vinalhaven during her fellowship. Close your eyes. When I say “eldercare,” what comes to your mind? What do you see, smell, and feel when I say “seniors,” “elders,” “nursing home,” or “residential care”?
January 25, 2016
The Island Institute is partnering with Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences and Ocean Approved, the country’s first company to grow kelp for food, on an exciting new project with potentially big implications. As it grows, the kelp on Ocean Approved’s rafts in Casco Bay may capture enough CO2 to reduce the acidity of surrounding water and make shellfish grow better. The instruments measuring ocean chemistry were put in and outside of the farm a couple of weeks ago, and the first reading of CO2 levels is very promising.
January 20, 2016
2012 was a big moment in the Maine lobster industry, with an overabundance of lobster and a price crash in response. We started filming in 2013 and, at that point, we noticed that there was a lot more communication starting to happen between fishermen and scientists about changes they were seeing out on the water. The idea was to start capturing some of that, using the Climate of Change Workshop that the Island Institute hosted that summer as a jumping off point.
January 11, 2016
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.
December 22, 2015
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.
December 21, 2015
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.
December 8, 2015
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.