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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.

Cover photo: Photograph by Kevin Morris


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