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Casco Bay Matters

What is Casco Bay Matters?

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 our Casco Bay Matters series is to provide an opportunity for concerned citizens and local decision makers to learn about and discuss issues affecting the health of our coastal waters. 

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. We hosted 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.

Here is a summary of our most recent Casco Bay Matters Event:

Ocean Acidification, Climate Change, and You: A Casco Bay Matters Event

February 8, 2019

Climate change is affecting the health of Casco Bay faster than anyone could have predicted. Warming temperatures and increasing acidity threaten the ocean and the livelihoods of those who depend on the sea. Research is showing that changes in our coastal waters from climate change are putting lobstering, clamming, and… Read more

Cover photo: Photograph by Kevin Morris

 

More on about our work:

Join us for a conversation about visual storytelling and Casco Bay

November 18, 2020

Visual Storytelling and Casco Bay: A Conversation with Knack Factory 30 Years of Friends of Casco Bay In honor of our 30th anniversary, the creative agency Knack Factory made a short film about Friends of Casco Bay’s work. Join us on the evening of December 2 to see the film… Read more

Warming Waters Are Hot Topic

November 10, 2020

  Day after day, we watched temperature records being set. This year has been hotter than usual. Out of the first 243 days of this year, January through August, 2020,  132 days exhibited a daily average temperature higher than established for that day in any of the prior four years, 2016… Read more

Our Statement on Environmental Justice

November 4, 2020

Casco Bay belongs to everyone. This is more than just a phrase to those of us who work at Friends of Casco Bay. 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,… Read more

What Casco Bay is telling us

November 3, 2020

We had a lively and informative What Casco Bay is telling us: a Casco Bay Matters Event as more than 100 Friends joined us for the conversation. Here is a video of the event, for those of you who were not able to attend live or would like to relisten.… Read more

Water Reporter Post of the Month

October 22, 2020

With 200 square miles of water and 578 miles of shoreline, Casco Bay is large and ecologically diverse. A changing climate, rising seas, and other threats to the health of our waters can have extremely local impacts, affecting coves, embayments, and islands each in different ways. We depend on volunteers… Read more

Storm drains are more important than you may think

October 15, 2020

People walk past storm drains every day without giving them a thought. Yet, storm drains deserve our attention. Storm drains are designed to help prevent flooding by diverting rainwater from our streets and parking lots into a natural body of water. But when storm drains are clogged or misused, they… Read more