Home » Our Work » Community Engagement » Casco Bay Matters Speaker Series

Casco Bay Matters Speaker Series

Casco Bay Matters Speaker Series

We host periodic presentations and panel discussions on issues of current concern though our Casco Bay Matters series, which are open to the public.

The purpose of a Casco Bay Matters is to provide an opportunity for concerned citizens and for legislators (especially local and state officials) to learn about and discuss issues of importance to protecting the water quality of Casco Bay. These programs are held at various venues such as colleges, libraries, and other facilities. The format varies depending on the issue.  We may offer a speaker or a panel to introduce a topic that will lead to further discussion, during and after the event. We want people leave with an awareness of the problem and many possible solutions to think about. We don’t feel it is necessary to offer a single “correct” solution but to be thinking about what they can do about it.

It is another way that Friends of Casco Bay continues to be proactive in addressing environmental issues that impact the Bay, as we have done with our BayScaping initiative, with sewage discharges by recreational boats, and with forums such as Casco Bay Is at Risk in 2014. There, a panel discussed threats to Casco Bay’s ecosystem from acidifying coastlines, invading green crabs, dwindling clam populations, and disappearing nurseries of the sea, all issues that scientists and legislators are working to address.

We have found that leading such community discussions can launch efforts that change pollution laws or practices. A forum we held in 2002 on Pollution Solutions to Cruise Ship Discharges led to state legislators enacting a law to prohibit the discharge of gray water (from large passenger vessels’ sinks and galleys) in Maine marine waters and to the EPA designating Casco Bay as a No Discharge Area, which prevents large ships from releasing vessel sewage within three miles of shore. Even as Portland has become one the most popular cruise ship destinations, with about 100 ship visits each year, we are the most protected harbor in the nation from cruise ship pollution.

More on about our work:

Cover photo: Photograph by Kevin Morris

Do you know what color Casco Bay is?

August 12, 2018

Pop quiz: Can you figure out which of these photos is of Casco Bay? The correct answer is B—but on any given day or part of the Bay, Casco Bay could look like any of these three pictures. Why does it matter? Water color can be an important indicator of the environmental health… Read more

Help us see the Bay in a New Way

August 8, 2018

As you may know, Friends of Casco Bay has joined a worldwide effort to better understand how our waters may be changing—by observing water color. Since we launched our Color by Numbers pilot project three months ago, 178 of you have signed up to measure the color of Casco Bay. The map of Casco Bay… Read more

Become a Water Reporter and report what you see on Casco Bay

August 6, 2018

Want to get outside, take photos that may help protect the health of Casco Bay, and connect with other community members? We invite you to join our new volunteer Observing Network, Water Reporter, an exciting way to share what you see around the Bay. In 2016 and 2017, we saw a concerning increase in the number… Read more

Enter to Win a One of a Kind Surfboard and Help Us Keep Casco Bay Blue

July 30, 2018

Allagash Brewing Company and Grain Surfboards have teamed up to create a one-of-kind surfboard to help keep Casco Bay blue. Buy raffle tickets below for chances to win the surfboard and help Friends of Casco Bay protect the health of our waters. Your support will be used to mobilize volunteers to monitor the health of the Bay,… Read more

Coastal Cleanup at Bug Light Park for International Coastal Cleanup Day

July 12, 2018

Join us at Bug Light Park for International Coastal Cleanup Day! When: Saturday, September 15, 2018, 9 AM – Noon Where: Bug Light Park Questions? Email Sarah at slyman [at] cascobay [dot] org Do you want to help keep Casco Bay clean? Volunteer to help out at our public coastal cleanup! Trash… Read more

Tending Portland’s public spaces without pesticides

June 29, 2018

On July 1, Portland’s Pesticide Use Ordinance goes into effect for public properties. (In January, 2019, restrictions on applying synthetic pesticides on private property will go into effect.) We asked City Arborist Jeff Tarling how the Parks Department may manage the City’s 721 acres of parks, playgrounds, trails, fields, and… Read more