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

Water Reporters Spur Actions to Protect the Bay

October 16, 2018

Casco Baykeeper Ivy Frignoca is our watchdog on the health of the Bay. She is on or along the water as much as possible, even in her spare time! But she can’t be everywhere. Ivy says, “We rely upon our Volunteers to be our extra eyes on the Bay. Since July, increasingly… Read more

July 26— The Day the Poop Hit the Bay

October 16, 2018

On July 26, 1.69 million gallons of partially-treated wastewater overflowed from Portland’s East End Sewage Treatment Facility into Casco Bay. This story made the news and captured our attention. That same day, 9.85 million gallons of combined sewer overflows (CSOs), containing raw sewage and toxic chemicals, also entered the Bay.… Read more

Color by Numbers Volunteer Survey

October 10, 2018

Read more

Water Reporters watch out for Casco Bay all year long

October 3, 2018

We launched our Water Reporter Observing Network in July. Since then, our volunteer Water Reporters have been reporting the good, the bad, and the ugly of what they have been seeing out on the Bay. Here are some recent examples: Sandy M shared this post on September 11th near East End Beach: “Just more plastic junk, but c’mon,”   Our Community Engagement… Read more

Top 11 reasons to attend our Wild & Scenic Film Festival

September 18, 2018

Wild & Scenic Film Festival Saturday, November 3 3-7 p.m University of Southern Maine 88 Bedford Street, Portland Tickets are on sale now $30 in advance $35 at the door, if available It’s our 11th Film Festival, so here are the Top 11 reasons to attend: #11   Be proud that you are supporting Friends of Casco Bay by… Read more

Water Reporter Volunteers are important to our Baykeeping efforts!

September 17, 2018

Casco Baykeeper Ivy Frignoca acts as the eyes, ears, and voice of the Bay. She is on or along the water almost daily, but she can’t be everywhere. Ivy says, “We rely on volunteers to report conditions around the Bay. The Water Reporter App really helps those efforts because we instantly receive… Read more