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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:

How can our coast be more resilient to climate change?

February 4, 2021

We are seeing the effects of climate change in Maine, with more changes looming in the years ahead. It may be hard to imagine how rising seas, larger storms, and storm surges may impact our roads, homes, and quality of life in the decades ahead. Yet, we still have time… Read more

December 2020 Water Reporter Post of the Month

January 11, 2021

Our Volunteer Water Reporters often go beyond the call of duty. Just look at our Water Reporter Post of the Month taken by Anne Wood during the mid December storm. Volunteers, like Anne, head out in all sorts of weather conditions to take photos of high tides. While braving inclement… Read more

Join me in a New Year’s resolution for Casco Bay

January 7, 2021

Happy New Year! As the year begins, I want to share with you my New Year’s resolution: to reduce my carbon footprint from transportation. Climate change is impacting Casco Bay. The largest source of excess greenhouse gases in Maine comes from transportation. Making significant reductions in greenhouse gases will require… Read more

Our top 10 moments of 2020

January 4, 2021

As this very odd year comes to a close, let’s celebrate the large and small ways our community helped us protect the health of Casco Bay in 2020. Here are our top ten for the year: 1.) On December 2, the Maine Climate Council released its four-year Climate Action Plan, “Maine Won’t Wait.” We… Read more

October and November 2020 Water Reporter Posts of the Month

December 15, 2020

What has 240 pairs of eyes and cares about the health of Casco Bay? Our network of volunteer Water Reporters! And even with colder weather descending on our region, our Water Reporters continue to stay connected to the Bay. Steve Fielding and Karla Talanian are among the dozens of volunteers… Read more

More good news for the Bay

December 11, 2020

Casco Bay received an early holiday gift: the City of South Portland passed an ordinance to restrict the use of fertilizers in order to encourage soil health and reduce nitrogen pollution into our coastal waters. Friends of Casco Bay applauds South Portland for taking this first-in-Maine step to protect our… Read more