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No Poop in the Bay: Friends of Casco Bay Relaunches Pumpout Program

Friends of Casco Bay’s new Pumpout Coordinator Chris Gilday aboard their pumpout vessel, Headmaster.

We are excited to announce that we are relaunching our Pumpout Program. After a 2-year hiatus, our pumpout vessel, Headmaster, is back in the water and is being captained by our newest staff member, Pumpout Coordinator Chris Gilday.

“After working as a commercial fisherman for decades, I know firsthand how much clean marine water matters,” says Chris. “Keeping the water free of sewage by getting a pumpout is one easy thing boaters can do to ensure the Bay stays healthy.”

Casco Bay is a federally-designated No Discharge Area, making it illegal for any boat — from cruise ships to pleasure crafts — to discharge raw or partially treated sewage into the Bay. Friends of Casco Bay’s pumpout service offers an easy way for boat owners to comply with this law, and has helped to keep over 254,000 gallons of sewage out of Casco Bay since it was launched in 1995.

“The combined effects of pumpouts, the Clean Water Act, and the No Discharge Area have transformed Casco Bay,” said Friends of Casco Bay’s executive director, Will Everitt. “Just 50 years ago, sailing magazines warned tourists to avoid the Bay. Today our waters are far cleaner. As boaters, we all must continue to do our part to keep the Bay clean and healthy for everyone.”

Thousands of boats pass through and anchor in Casco Bay every summer. The past two summers in particular have seen a dramatic increase in the number of recreational boats on the Bay. With more people on the water, it is more important than ever for boaters to keep their sewage out of the Bay, in addition to other best practices like avoiding fuel spills at the gas pump, preventing trash and litter from entering the water, and proper disposal of marine flares. Boaters can learn more about these best practices at cascobay.org/boating.

“Getting a pumpout is one of the best things boaters can do,” said Casco Baykeeper Ivy Frignoca. “It keeps the Bay free from bacteria and sewage that foul our waters and make them unsafe for recreation, fishing, and wildlife. With our pumpout service offering a safe and legal way to dispose of sewage, there is no reason to not pumpout your boat.”

To request a pumpout from Friends of Casco Bay, you must sign up for our service. You may also email pumpout [at] cascobay [dot] org or call (207) 776-0136 with questions about our service. We charge a $10 pumpout fee per 20-gallons of sewage, and additionally offer holding tank flushes for $15. For more information about our pumpout service, boaters can visit www.cascobay.org/pumpout.

Meet our new Executive Director!

Will Everitt
Executive Director, Friends of Casco Bay

Will Everitt has been hired as our next Executive Director at Friends of Casco Bay. Will is a familiar face, as he has served as our Communications and Development Director for the past 15 years and Interim Director since September 2021. With his strong background in environmental community organizing, communications, fundraising, and so much more, our Board of Directors voted unanimously to make him Executive Director.

“Casco Bay inspires me. I am honored to be named Executive Director of Friends of Casco Bay,” says Will. “Over the years, we have been able to accomplish so much for the health of the Bay, knowing that the best solutions for clean water are also solutions for the health of our economy. A healthy Bay benefits everyone who lives and works here. In a time of political division, I am proud to say that our organization includes people of many backgrounds brought together by our collective passion for clean water and this amazing Bay.”

(Left to right) Casco Baykeeper Ivy Frignoca, Executive Director Will Everitt, and President of the Board of Directors of Friends of Casco Bay Andrew Marsters, stand on the deck of our research vessel, R/V Joseph E. Payne.

Will helped spearhead many of our major efforts in recent years. He helped grow our membership by leaps and bounds, and was key to helping us cross the finish line on our $1.5 million campaign for the Climate Change and Casco Bay Fund. In addition to his work with us, Will serves on the board of Maine Conservation Alliance.

“I am delighted that Will has agreed to lead Friends of Casco Bay into the future,” said Andrew Marsters, President of our Board of Directors. “For so many reasons, Will is just the person we need. He is a levelheaded thinker and an even-keeled leader. He has institutional memory, political savviness, and an innate talent for building relationships. Will is approachable and friendly, and inspires staff to do their very best work. And he is so much more as you will learn as you get to know him in the coming months and years. Our community and the Bay are lucky to have him.”

Before working at Friends of Casco Bay, Will directed Community Action Works’ Portland office, where he helped dozens of communities across New England protect themselves from leaking landfills, sludge spreading, and toxic pesticide spraying. He was also Maine State Director of the League of Young Voters. He is a graduate of Rutgers University.

“Will takes the helm of Friends of Casco Bay at a time when we are on a steady, solid course,” says Casco Baykeeper Ivy Frignoca. “His leadership will help us take innovative steps to address the impacts of climate change, rising sea level, increased storms and other threats to the health of our beloved Bay. Will’s intrepid vision and fiscal skill will ensure we meet the challenges ahead.”

We look forward to you getting to know Will better in the months ahead. We hope you will join us in July at our 50th Anniversary of the Clean Water Act Celebration where you will have the chance to meet him in person and hear about his vision for the future.

Until then, feel free to drop him a line at willeveritt [at] cascobay [dot] org. He would love to hear from you!

We are hiring: Science and Advocacy Associate

Science and Advocacy Associate – full time with a comprehensive benefits package

Friends of Casco Bay is hiring a Science and Advocacy Associate. This new position will report to and work closely with our Casco Baykeeper and Staff Scientist to monitor the health of Casco Bay and advocate for actions to improve and protect the environmental health of Casco Bay. This position requires both science and legal/environmental policy skills. 

Our Science Program provides much of the data that informs our Baykeeping Program. The Associate position is a role that is designed to bridge and support both programs. The Associate will work on a diverse array of issues, including climate change, stormwater pollution, nitrogen pollution, watershed development, plastic pollution, and other emerging issues. The Associate will help us expand our work to address issues affecting the tributaries that influence the health of Casco Bay. We offer a collegial workplace, a competitive salary, and excellent benefits.

About Friends of Casco Bay

Friends of Casco Bay works to improve and protect the health of Casco Bay, an Estuary of National Significance located in the Gulf of Maine. Our science program monitors the health of the Bay and tracks changing conditions. These data inform what actions we take to advocate for the Bay and how we engage the community in our stewardship efforts. 

As part of the Gulf of Maine, and as our data show, Casco Bay is warming more quickly than almost all other marine waters in the world in response to excess greenhouse gas emissions from human activities. We play a leading role in our region to reduce pollution, encourage stewardship, and address the causes and consequences of climate change. 

We are home to the Casco BAYKEEPER®, our lead advocate who acts as the eyes, ears, and voice of Casco Bay. We are one of the seven founding members of WATERKEEPER® Alliance, a network that includes more than 300 independent organizations working to protect waters around the world. Thanks to our efforts, industrial pollution has decreased, municipalities are working to reduce sewage and stormwater pollution, and the Bay has been designated a No Discharge Area, making it one of the most protected water bodies in the country. 

A Board of 15 Directors oversees the work of Friends of Casco Bay. More than 2,500 households and donors support our organization. More than 500 volunteers assist us in our efforts. We are known as an exceptional place to work, with dedicated, cohesive, long-time staff. We currently have seven full-time employees. We balance our ability to leverage collaborative efforts, funds, and volunteers, with the capacity and capabilities of staff — a talented team, each passionate about our mission. We work to improve and protect the health of this special place for everyone. We are committed to creating a culture and practices that integrate diversity, equity, and inclusion into our work.

Our Science Program: Friends of Casco Bay collects long-term data on the health of the Bay. Our Science program consists primarily of two efforts. One component builds on a 30-year dataset that provides monthly “snapshot” conditions at more than twenty sites spread around the Bay. The second collects hourly data from three Continuous Monitoring Stations: one in Portland Harbor, one close to the middle of the Bay in waters off Yarmouth, and one in the eastern end of the Bay in waters off Harpswell.

Our Baykeeping Program: Baykeeping is our mission put into practice: acting to improve and protect the environmental health of Casco Bay. In short, Baykeeping is about reducing pollution and addressing climate change. We work within many coalitions and networks. We analyze and use the law to advance policy. Although this work is primarily at a state and local level, it sometimes requires action at a federal level.

The job of Science and Advocacy Associate
Science: The Associate will work with our Staff Scientist to learn to maintain, calibrate, and deploy our seasonal and continuous monitoring equipment. The Associate will monitor water quality in the field with our Staff Scientist and Casco Baykeeper. Training will be provided consistent with our Quality Assurance Project Plans and protocols. The Associate also will augment the capacity of our Staff Scientist to graph, analyze, and present data to support our advocacy and education efforts.

In due time, the Associate would be responsible for investigating and collecting data related to issues of concern that plague the health of the Bay and its tributaries. For example, this person might be trained to help monitor for PFAS, microplastics, and/or the effects of nitrogen pollution. This person also might help us investigate emergent, unexpected issues such as fish kills and loss of eelgrass.

Baykeeping: The Associate will be expected to engage in legal research and creative problem solving to help advance policy, laws, and regulations. The Associate will help draft comments on Clean Water Act permits that regulate the discharge of pollution in the Casco Bay watershed. The Associate will be expected to work collaboratively within our many networks and partnerships. The Associate will spend considerable time attending meetings and getting to know our community, with an aim toward covering certain topics independently. This position is similar to an associate environmental attorney position. Baykeeping covers many topics and requires a keen ability to quickly master diverse subject matter, identify strategies, and implement solutions. The Associate should possess skills that lean toward that model of work and a willingness to constantly learn and have an open mind. In time, the Associate may be called upon to testify before the legislature, in administrative forums, or at municipal meetings. 

The Associate will work at the direction of the Staff Scientist and Casco Baykeeper; all staff report to the Executive Director.

Attributes, Skills, and Experience

Qualified candidates must have the following:

  • A background in biology, environmental science, marine science, or a related science 
  • Advanced legal and/or policy education, preferably a juris doctorate, and/or relevant experience
  • Dedication to our mission
  • Ability to lift and move items up to 30 pounds without assistance due to the physical nature of our fieldwork

Qualified candidates should demonstrate:

  • Strong research and writing skills
  • Ability to implement detailed scientific protocols
  •  Ability to use scientific data and research to support policy changes and action
  • Strategic and dynamic thinker and collaborator
  • Commitment to study the background of issues and their regulatory context
  • Ability to sometimes work outside of normal business hours
  • A personal and professional commitment to environmental stewardship and passion for applying that to the mission of Friends of Casco Bay
  • Excellent organizational and time management skills; ability to prioritize and meet deadlines
  • Clear verbal communication skills
  • Ability to work independently and with teams

Qualified candidates might also have:

  • Knowledge of state and federal laws, regulations, and policies that affect marine water quality and habitat 
  • Understanding of the political and legislative process, and how policy, ordinances, and laws are made and enforced
  • Relevant field experience, such as monitoring water quality or investigating causes of pollution
  • Experience leading field trips 
  • Comfort with public speaking 
  • Knowledge of Casco Bay
  • Comfortable on the water in variable conditions

Salary and benefits:
The salary range is $55,000 to $60,000/year ($26.04-$28.85/hour), commensurate with experience. We offer an excellent benefits package, including paid vacation time, 13 state and federal holidays, health and dental insurance (employer pays 75% and contributes to a health savings account), paid sick days, life insurance, and retirement plan, including a 4% employer match. 

Location and public health expectations
Friends of Casco Bay is located in South Portland, Maine, in the greater Portland region. We currently work using a hybrid model of working from home and working in the office. This is not a “remote” only position. By its nature, this position requires showing up in person at meetings and doing work on the Bay. The Greater Portland area offers a vibrant cultural scene and easy access to the state’s many recreational opportunities. 100% of our staff are vaccinated against COVID-19 and we expect our newest employee to be too. 

Start date
As soon as possible upon job offer.

Application Instructions

A complete application package from interested applicants must include:

  • A cover letter citing why you are qualified for the position
  • A resume
  • A writing sample that you have written, not to exceed 750 words, preferably on a matter of science or environmental policy or environmental law

Email your application as a single PDF document to keeper [at] cascobay [dot] org. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis with priority given to applications received by June 15. Screenings and interviews will be conducted initially by phone and online; finalists will be interviewed in person as CDC guidelines allow. No phone calls, please.

About Casco Bay

Casco Bay encompasses 14 coastal communities, including two of Maine’s largest cities, Portland and South Portland, and two of Maine’s newest towns, Long Island and Chebeague Island. Casco Bay is both a working waterfront—a port of call for cruise ships, oil tankers, and container ships—and a scenic postcard of historic forts, stalwart lighthouses, secluded anchorages, and many islands.

We are home to the Casco Baykeeper

Baykeeping is our mission put into practice: acting to improve and protect the environmental health of Casco Bay. Our Baykeeping Program exists to advocate for solutions to environmental challenges facing the Bay.

30 Years of Friends of Casco Bay

This timeline highlights our biggest victories as well as some of the most significant moments of Friends of Casco Bay’s history over the past three decades. 

What was your favorite Casco Bay moment of 2021?

As this year comes to an end, let’s reflect and celebrate the many ways that we worked together to protect the health of Casco Bay in 2021. Here are our top ten stories of the year:

1) We crossed the finish line on our Climate Change and Casco Bay Fund. More than 700 Friends of the Bay contributed $1.5 million to the Climate Change and Casco Bay Fund for Technology, Monitoring, and Community Engagement. These funds enabled us to launch two new Continuous Monitoring Stations in Casco Bay and will support the maintenance of all three of our stations for the next decade.

Mike deploys our Portland Harbor Continuous Monitoring Station
Mike deploys our Portland Harbor Continuous Monitoring Station

2) We launched two new Continuous Monitoring Stations. With the Climate Change and Casco Bay Fund completed, we launched two new Continuous Monitoring Stations in Casco Bay! This past spring, our new stations splashed down in Harpswell and Portland Harbor, and Staff Scientist Mike Doan walked us through their preliminary data.

3) We successfully advocated for forward-looking climate change legislation Augusta. We were thrilled to see Maine pass legislation to adapt our stormwater, land use, and planning laws to incorporate climate change projections, a top priority of Maine’s Climate Action Plan. Scores of Friends submitted testimony in support of “LD 1572 Resolve, To Analyze the Impact of Sea Level Rise.” If you were one of them, thank you!

4) We celebrated the career and contributions of Cathy Ramsdell. Our former Executive Director, Cathy Ramsdell, retired in September after 18 amazing years at the helm of Friends of Casco Bay. We hosted an outdoor celebration in honor of Cathy at Portland Yacht Services on August 26. At the event, staff and board members shared reflections on Cathy’s leadership and Gulf of Maine poet Gary Lawless read his poem, “For Casco Bay, for Us.

5) Water Reporter Rick Frantz revealed the impacts of erosion. We have all heard that a picture is worth a thousand words, but have you ever seen a photo that is worth 17 years? Volunteer Water Reporter Rick Frantz compared photos of Diamond Cove Beach from 2004 and 2021 to reveal the slow work of erosion over nearly two decades.

6) We supported many legislative victories for Maine’s environment and Casco Bay. Casco Bay will be cleaner and healthier, and our communities will be safer due to the many environmental victories passed in Augusta this year. Issues facing the Bay that are being addressed by new policies and laws include: sea level rise, expired marine flare disposal, changing eelgrass and salt marsh habitat, and public coastal access.

Volunteer Water Reporters and Friends of Casco Bay staff visited two Brunswick salt marshes in early September, where they shared observational insights and discussed local ecology.

7) Water Reporters documented an eelgrass mystery in Casco Bay. Volunteer Water Reporters observed an increase in torn and uprooted eelgrass in Casco Bay between August and September. Eelgrass is critically important to the health of the marine environment as it supports fisheries, maintains water quality, and acts as a carbon sink.

8) Staff Scientist Mike Doan showed us how phytoplankton affect the Bay. Many factors cause seasonal changes in Casco Bay. The activity of phytoplankton is one of them. Looking at data from our Continuous Monitoring Stations we see how these microscopic plants at the base of the marine food web can dramatically change the levels of acidity, oxygen, nutrient availability, and other factors in the Bay.

9) We monitored and supported cleanup efforts after an oil spill closed Willard Beach. It has been a rough few months for Willard Beach in South Portland. In addition to a sewer main break in October, Willard Beach was closed for three days at the end of August to accommodate cleanup efforts and protect public health from an oil spill. Casco Baykeeper Ivy Frignoca toured the site of the spill and commended the cleanup efforts led by state, local, and private agencies.

10) Water Reporters learned about oil spills and algal blooms from regional experts. Volunteer Water Reporters connected with regional experts from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Maine Department of Marine Resources in an illuminating discussion about identifying and reporting oil spills and algal blooms seen on Casco Bay.

We look forward to keeping you updated in the New Year. Thank you for being a Friend of Casco Bay.

We are water, we are the Bay

Dear Friends of Casco Bay,

Gulf of Maine poet Gary Lawless read his poem, “For Casco Bay, for Us,” for the first time to a live crowd at former Executive Director Cathy Ramsdell’s retirement party in August. The poem has been echoing in my ear since then.

Internationally-renowned Gulf of Maine poet Gary Lawless wrote this poem in honor of Friends of Casco Bay’s 30th Anniversary.

Gary reminds us that we are a part of the environment, a part of this watershed. We find a deeper connection to our true selves, to each other, and to the natural world, just by being near our coastal waters.

The ongoing pandemic has encouraged all of us to be outside, bringing more people than ever to the shores and surf of Casco Bay. As more of us look to the water for strength and solace, we must remember our relationship with the water works both ways. To quote Gary again, “What happens to water happens to us.”

With more of us on and by the Bay our collective impact on its heath grows, where our actions as a community are inextricable from the health of the Bay. As individuals we can help ensure our shores stay free of debris, speak with our families, neighbors, and community leaders about the importance of clean marine water, and join Friends’ ever-growing network of volunteer Water Reporters who help us to keep an eye on all corners of Casco Bay. Together, we can continue to improve our laws and infrastructure in order to reduce pollution, sewage overflows, and other threats to the coastal waters that sustain us.

Yet as we all know the future of the Bay’s health is influenced by more than just the communities in the watershed. As a state and country, we must work together to address the impacts of climate change. Scientists around the world have reached the undeniable consensus that we are at a tipping point. If we are to meet the moment, our laws will need to become forward looking. The sea level rise legislation passed by the Maine Legislature and signed by the governor this spring (L.D. 1572) provides a perfect example, as it incorporates scientists’ projections for rising seas into our coastal land use and zoning laws. In addition to changing our laws, we must change our energy economy to reach a renewable future. Along the way our work for clean marine water remains paramount. A healthy Bay is a resilient Bay; our waters need to withstand the changes to come.

As daunting as climate change is, a buoyant sense of hope arises when we look at all we have achieved for Casco Bay over the past 32 years. We have made Casco Bay one of the most protected water bodies in the nation by using our community-oriented approach to advocacy that is guided by science and grounded in common decency. Our community of Friends continues to grow, thanks to you, our 280 volunteers and 2,500 donors, and counting. Among our staff, we have over 80 years of experience in improving the health of the Bay, and our Board of Directors has brought on talented and imaginative leaders to join our work. Together, we are prepared to chart a course through any seas that may lie ahead.

Thank you for caring about Casco Bay,

Will Everitt
Interim Director

 

From Casco Bay to Glasgow: UN climate talks

Last Saturday marked the conclusion of the United Nations’ climate change conference in Glasgow, Scotland. For the past two weeks, leaders from around the world convened to negotiate plans and intensify efforts to combat the climate crisis. Called COP26, this was the 26th meeting of the “Conference of the Parties,” the nations that have agreed to a framework to address climate change.

What does an international meeting across the Atlantic have to do with Casco Bay?

As part of the Gulf of Maine, Casco Bay is warming more quickly than almost all other marine water bodies in the world. Over the past 28 years, on average, summer temperatures in Casco Bay have risen by 2.5° Fahrenheit [1.4° Celsius]. At Friends of Casco Bay we hoped that COP26 would lead to firm and immediate actions in response to the dire conclusions of the United Nations’ climate change report, published in August. That report scientifically confirmed that we are facing a global climate emergency, which is causing and exacerbating humanitarian crises around the world.

While we are disappointed that COP26 did not produce stronger results, the conference in Glasgow reinforced a valuable lesson: international change often starts at the local and regional levels.

“States are leading the way on climate action,” said Maine State Representative Lydia Blume, who serves on the Maine Climate Council and was present in Glasgow. Representative Blume said that here in the US and elsewhere around the world, it is encouraging to see an abundance of ambitious local and regional climate action. From her vantage, laying the groundwork locally can provide models and momentum for action on a larger scale. “We in the State of Maine are moving this work forward because we know how we want to address climate change, we have a climate action plan.”

 

Last week, Representative Blume and Casco Baykeeper Ivy Frignoca were interviewed about COP26. You can watch the full 16-minute interview here, to hear Representative Blume and Ivy’s perspectives on the negotiations and climate issues in Maine. This interview was hosted by Waterkeeper Alliance. We are one of the seven founding members of Waterkeeper Alliance, a network that has grown to include more than 300 independent organizations working to protect waters around the world.

For Ivy, COP26 made it clear that working with policy makers like Representative Blume and organizations like the Waterkeeper Alliance are as important as ever. Relationships like these build support for the action we need. We cannot succeed in reducing the causes of climate change without concerted national and international efforts.

“We have to act now and without delay,” says Ivy. “The work we do on climate change to protect Casco Bay is augmented by the work of hundreds of Waterkeepers around the world, who are acting to address climate change in their watersheds. When I feel overwhelmed, it helps to remember we are part of a large network of dedicated people working to tackle this problem. So while world leaders lag behind, we must continue our work.”

Here on Casco Bay, we will continue to shine the spotlight on how climate change is affecting the Bay and advocate at the local, state, and national levels for policies to address and adapt to looming changes. A healthy marine environment is a resilient marine environment. Working with our communities to prevent pollution and keep the coast clean remains paramount.

In the months ahead, look for invitations to our Casco Bay Matters events where we will share updates on the work we and our partners are doing in this arena and answer questions you have. Thank you for joining us in addressing climate change and protecting the health of Casco Bay.

We are hiring: Executive Director

Friends of Casco Bay, a science-based, community-oriented, environmental nonprofit organization that has worked for over 30 years to improve and protect the environmental health of Casco Bay, is hiring an Executive Director.

About Friends of Casco Bay

Friends of Casco Bay works to improve and protect the environmental health of Casco Bay, an Estuary of National Significance, located in the Gulf of Maine. We monitor the health of the Bay, documenting changes and issues of concern. We use those data to engage our community in our work and advocate for solutions that improve the health of our coastal waters.

Casco Bay, like the Gulf of Maine, the fastest-warming body of water in the world, is changing quickly. We play a leading role in our region to reduce pollution, encourage stewardship, and address the causes and consequences of climate change to Casco Bay. Our work is guided by science, the regulatory environment, common decency, and passion for protecting our coastal waters. We are home to the Casco BAYKEEPER®, our lead advocate who acts as the eyes, ears, and voice of Casco Bay. We use the Research Vessel Joseph E. Payne to collect data, to investigate concerns, and as an educational platform. We are one of the seven founding members of WATERKEEPER® Alliance, a network that has grown to include more than 300 independent organizations working to protect waters around the world. Thanks to our efforts, industrial pollution has decreased, municipalities are working to reduce sewage and stormwater pollution, and the Bay has been designated a No Discharge Area, making it one of the most protected water bodies in the country.

A Board of 13 Directors oversees the work of Friends of Casco Bay. More than 2,500 households and donors support our organization. More than 500 volunteers assist us in our efforts. We are known as an exceptional place to work, with dedicated, cohesive, long-time staff. We currently have seven full-time employees. We balance our ability to leverage collaborative efforts, funds, and volunteers, with the capacity and capabilities of staff — a talented team, each passionate about our mission.

We work to improve and protect the health of this special place for everyone. We are committed to creating a culture and practices that integrate diversity, equity, and inclusion into our work.

The Job of the Executive Director (ED)

The Executive Director (ED) is responsible for general oversight of our programs, fiscal operations, human resources, administrative functions, benefits administration, fundraising, and organizational planning. The ED facilitates turning the organization’s vision, strategies, and values into specific actions to support our mission while helping us continue to build a strong, resilient organization. The ED works with the Board and staff to establish strategic goals, and works with the staff to develop annual operating plans that will move the organization toward those goals. The ED oversees our development efforts to ensure the financial stability of our organization. It is anticipated that our ED will become a recognized figure in Maine and especially in the Casco Bay region. The ED works in service to our mission and reports to the Board through the Board President. All staff report to the ED.

The ED’s core Program and Administrative responsibilities are to:

  • Facilitate our organization’s vision for our work and provide leadership to move us toward that vision.
  • Provide oversight of Friends’ staff and activities through coordinating and implementing an annual operating plan and budget for review by the Board of Directors. Work with staff to continue development and evaluation of program, fundraising, community engagement, communications, operating, and administrative strategies.
  • Work closely with the Casco Baykeeper, our lead advocate and voice of the Bay, on policy directions and issue positioning. Work with the Casco Baykeeper to ensure compliance with Waterkeeper Alliance Quality Standards.
  • Identify new opportunities for partnerships and collaborations and work with the Board and staff to foster those relationships.

The ED’s core Fiscal responsibilities are to:

  • Ensure compliance with all applicable laws, filing deadlines (e.g. IRS Form 990) to protect the assets and integrity of the organization. Monitor all matters pertaining to the organization’s IRS 501(c)3 status and state charitable organization designation.
  • Maintain good internal financial controls and separation of duties. Oversee financials, cash flow, and bookkeeping/accounting processes. Authorize expenditures and sign off on bills to be paid. Prepare financial reports for the Board.
  • Understand and maintain adequate insurance coverages (business, watercrafts, Directors & Officers, employee benefits, etc).
  • Negotiate and fulfill requirements of occupancy lease, if a lease is in effect. Ensure that the building is well maintained and that all staff have adequate space, resources, and equipment to do their jobs.
  • Work with the Office Manager and staff to maintain technology, equipment, and software renewal upgrades and schedules, from computers, server, and printers, to boats and water quality monitoring equipment.

The ED’s core Fundraising and Marketing responsibilities are to:

  • Ensure funding adequate to maintain Friends as a vital part of improving and protecting the environmental health of Casco Bay by working with the Board, Communications and Development Director, and other staff, to raise revenue to equal or exceed revenue budget. Assist in fundraising efforts, especially identifying, cultivating, soliciting, and closing major donors, foundations, corporations, governmental entities, and other nonprofits.
  • Facilitate and implement a marketing strategy with development and communications staff, the Casco Baykeeper, and Board to achieve successful fundraising, increase the visibility of the organization, and increase public awareness of the issues on which we are focused.
  • Further develop mutually beneficial networking relationships with other environmental, business, municipal, and community organizations.

The ED’s Personnel responsibilities are to:

  • Train, mentor, develop, and manage staff. Recruit new staff as needs arise. Conduct staff reviews and evaluations. Assess staffing needs. Create and revise job descriptions as needed.
  • Maintain, update, and administer our Staff Policy Handbook.
  • Assure compliance with all employment laws.
  • Oversee benefits program – administration, adequacy, and cost effectiveness.
  • Ensure a safe, trusting, and harassment-free work environment, wherein staff members grow professionally, are valued, and work together as an ensemble while maintaining their core areas of responsibility.

The ED’s core Board Relations responsibilities are to:

  • Be the lead liaison between the Board and staff; the ED communicates regularly with the Board President and other Directors regarding Friends’ activities.
  • Attend Board meetings, Executive Committee meetings, Community Engagement Committee meetings, and other Board committee meetings as appropriate.
  • Work with the Board President to craft Board meeting agendas that both engage the Board and help provide staff with the guidance and attention they deserve.
  • When in doubt or when anything unexpected and of a material nature arises, bring it to the attention of the Board President and Executive Committee as soon as possible.

The ED’s core Communications responsibilities are to:

  • Keep up with what is going on in the Casco Bay region and integrate that knowledge into staff meetings and plans.
  • Ensure our advocacy positions, communications, and program work are in line with our mission.
  • Help facilitate the generation of a wider variety of communications efforts to share our work with the community.
  • Represent Friends to our diverse community at a wide variety of public and private meetings and engagements in ways that build our visibility and credibility.

The Executive Director must possess: strong communications skills; proven ability to effectively manage people and projects; demonstrated ability in managing finances; proven success at fundraising; the ability to create and maintain relationships with collaborative partners and policy makers; experience in community networking; and strong computer skills.

The ideal candidate holds an advanced degree in a field relative to this work or has deep professional experience in such a field. The ED should have experience working with nonprofits and familiarity with marine science or ecology or community engagement or organizing or environmental policy.

This is a full time professional position and often requires long hours. All staff members, including the ED, help with event setup and clean up, as well as greeting visitors, answering the phone, responding to public inquiries in a timely manner, and providing other organizational support as needed.

Salary and benefits

The salary range is $98,000 to $112,000 a year, commensurate with experience, with an excellent benefits package, including health and dental insurance (75%), life insurance, and retirement plan. 

 

Location and public health expectations

The ED must live in the Casco Bay watershed, or move to the Casco Bay watershed, within 6 months of being hired. Friends of Casco Bay’s office is currently located in South Portland, Maine, in the greater Portland region. Portland is a diverse oceanfront city in southern Maine offering a vibrant cultural scene and easy access to the state’s many recreational opportunities. 100% of our staff are vaccinated against COVID-19 and we expect our ED to be, too.

 

Start date

As soon as possible upon job offer.

Application Instructions

Cover letter, resume, and writing sample in response to the following prompt, not to exceed 500 words (writing sample is for use in the application process only): What role does a regional nonprofit environmental group have in confronting the global threat of climate change?

Email your application as a single PDF document to searchcommittee [at] cascobay [dot] org by January 2, 2022. Screenings and interviews will be conducted initially by phone and online; finalists will be interviewed in person as CDC guidelines allow. No phone calls please.

About Casco Bay

Casco Bay encompasses 14 coastal communities, including two of Maine’s largest cities, Portland and South Portland, and two of Maine’s newest towns, Long Island and Chebeague Island. Casco Bay is both a working waterfront—a port of call for cruise ships, oil tankers, and container ships—and a scenic postcard of historic forts, stalwart lighthouses, secluded anchorages, and many islands.

We are home to the Casco Baykeeper

Baykeeping is our mission put into practice: acting to improve and protect the environmental health of Casco Bay. Our Baykeeping Program exists to advocate for solutions to environmental challenges facing the Bay.

30 Years of Friends of Casco Bay

This timeline highlights our biggest victories as well as some of the most significant moments of Friends of Casco Bay’s history over the past three decades. 

Women Mind the Water Podcast Interview with Casco Baykeeper Ivy Frignoca

Pam Ferris-Olson, host of Women Mind the Water podcast (and a Friends of Casco Bay volunteer Water Reporter!), recently interviewed Casco Baykeeper Ivy Frignoca. Listen to the episode to hear from Ivy about the importance of advocacy and volunteering on behalf of Casco Bay.

You can hear more Women Mind the Water podcast episodes with other guests on their website.

Looking back and looking ahead: leadership at Friends

Dear Friends,

It has already been three weeks since we gathered with 200 Friends of the Bay to celebrate the career, contributions, and retirement of our longtime Executive Director, Cathy Ramdsell. Cathy’s send-off party, held outdoors at Portland Yacht Services’ boatyard (hire yacht charter san diego here), marked our first in-person event since the onset of the pandemic. It was heartwarming and rejuvenating to see so many supporters, partners, and colleagues after so much time apart. Cathy shared it meant the world to her that we could all be together for this watershed moment. You can view photos and revisit that special evening here.

So what’s next?

Friends of Casco Bay’s Board of Directors will officially launch the search for our next Executive Director soon. As Board President Sandy Marsters has said, “We are grateful that Cathy waited for our organization to reach its current state of maturity and stability before moving on to the next phase of her life. Organizationally, we are stronger than ever: our finances are sound, we have a team of interdisciplinary staff producing incredible work, and our visibility is at an all-time high.”

In the meantime, the board has appointed me to serve as Interim Director. Having worked with our exceptional staff, board members, and community since 2006, and knowing our collective passion for Casco Bay, I am honored to serve our organization during this transition.

Here are some examples of the incredible efforts our staff and volunteers have pursued over the past few weeks.

While we were organizing Cathy’s retirement party, we were also responding to an oil spill at Willard Beach in South Portland. The beach was closed for three days as state, local, and private cleanup teams removed 2,000 pounds of contaminated material. Casco Baykeeper Ivy Frignoca toured the beach soon after the spill was reported. You can read about Ivy’s experience at the cleanup here.

The spill was a stark reminder that protecting the health of the Bay requires vigilance.

This is why we are delighted to have more than 375 volunteer Water Reporters helping us keep watch over Casco Bay. Some Water Reporters recently took a field trip with Ivy and Community Engagement Coordinator Sarah Lyman to the Mere Point Boat Launch to share how they all could be better stewards. If you volunteer your time as a Water Reporter, thank you. If you want to join this observing network, we would love to have you aboard. You can learn more here.

As autumn begins, we are concluding our first summer with three Continuous Monitoring Stations in the water, gathering data every hour on a changing Casco Bay. These data have already begun to offer new insights about our waters. The data is used in our efforts to reduce pollution and help our communities be more resilient to the effects of climate change. To learn about these insights and what else Ivy and Staff Scientist Mike Doan observed this field season, keep an eye out for our next Casco Bay Matters event.

September is coastal cleanup month. Our community members are taking to our coast to pick up trash and litter. In the process they are helping to protect wildlife, collect data for marine debris research and advocacy efforts, and keeping our shores cleaner and safer. Click here for ways you can join them.

Your support means more to us than ever. We look forward to keeping you updated about our search for new leadership and about our work ahead. Thank you for caring about the health of Casco Bay.

With appreciation,

Will Everitt
Interim Director
Friends of Casco Bay

Photos by: Kevin Morris, Ivy Frignoca, and Glenn Michaels

Celebrating Cathy Ramsdell

After 18 years of serving as our Executive Director at Friends of Casco Bay, Cathy Ramsdell retired on September 2, 2021. In honor of Cathy and her leadership, we hosted a celebration on August 26. Cathy arrived to the party by boat. At the event, staff and board shared reflections on Cathy’s leadership and Gulf of Maine poet Gary Lawless read his poem, “For Casco Bay, For Us.

Celebrating Cathy Ramsdell – A Retirement Party