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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:

Please comment on Maine Climate Council Draft Framework

September 22, 2020

Please lend your voice to support actions that will help Maine’s coast including our beloved Casco Bay, adapt to climate change. The Maine Climate Council’s Working Groups* have drafted numerous strategies to help the state prepare to implement a climate change action plan. The Council is now prioritizing and selecting… Read more

Check out our CommUNITY Champions

September 11, 2020

Want a lift? Watch this! (2 minutes) We have long thought of our volunteers as champions. Now much of Southern Maine does, too. WMTW News 8’s anchor, Steve Minich recognized our volunteer Water Reporters as CommUNITY Champions in late August. You can watch the two-minute CommUNITY Champion segment and hear… Read more

Donate to Climate Change and Casco Bay Fund

September 9, 2020

We are 91% of our way to our $1.5 million goal! Help us go over the top! Friends of Casco Bay is creating a $1.5 million fund to be used over the next ten years to understand how Casco Bay is being affected by climate change. We will launch and… Read more

Keeping up with the Casco Baykeeper

September 4, 2020

For Casco Baykeeper Ivy Frignoca, the summer has been full of moments of concern and moments of magic. How was your summer? Summer means being on the Bay! Staff Scientist Mike Doan and I continued to collect our seasonal data on the health of Casco Bay by land and sea.… Read more

More eyes on Casco Bay

August 25, 2020

The meaningful observations by hundreds of Volunteer Water Reporters are making a difference for the health of Casco Bay, especially during COVID-19. Casco Bay encompasses 200 square miles of water, has more than 578 miles of shoreland from Cape Elizabeth to Phippsburg, and includes hundreds of islands. To help keep… Read more

How rainstorms affect the Bay

August 18, 2020

Today’s rain reminds us that heavy rainstorms can deliver a significant insult to the health of Casco Bay. Rainwater runoff resulting from intense storms flows into the Bay, bringing with it a host of pollutants including nitrogen, pesticides, oil, and heavy metals. If rainfall is heavy enough, the large dose… Read more