Home » Our Work » Community Engagement » Casco Bay Matters

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.

Celebrating Data From Our New Continuous Monitoring Stations — A Casco Bay Matters Event

April 15, 2021

We are hosting an online event to share data from all three of our Continuous Monitoring Stations and to celebrate the ways the Climate Change and Casco Bay Fund will enhance our efforts to improve and protect the health of the Bay for years to come. On Wednesday, June 16,… Read more

Cover photo: Photograph by Kevin Morris


More on about our work:

Casco Bay is a No Discharge Area (NDA)

July 20, 2021

Casco Bay is a federally-designated No Discharge Area, which means it is illegal to release blackwater (raw or treated sewage) from any vessel into the Bay. All boats in Casco Bay must hold their blackwater until it can be removed at a pumpout facility. It is also illegal for any… Read more

Executive Director Cathy L. Ramsdell is retiring

July 19, 2021

A letter from Cathy: Dear Friends, I have news to share with you today. I have decided to retire. I am elated to have spent the better part of the past two decades serving as Executive Director of Friends of Casco Bay. When I say “the better part of the… Read more

Congratulating Cathy

July 18, 2021

Share your words of congratulations or a favorite memory with Cathy below. We will be collecting all of these messages in one place for Cathy. Please send your thoughts by August 15 so that we have time to assemble these into a booklet for her. Alternatively, you can share your… Read more

Celebrating Cathy Ramsdell

July 18, 2021

After 18 years of serving as our Executive Director at Friends of Casco Bay, Cathy Ramsdell is retiring. In honor of Cathy and her leadership, we are hosting a celebration and we would love for you to join us.  Celebrating Cathy Ramsdell – A Retirement Party When: Thursday, August 26,… Read more

Water Reporter reveals eroding coast

July 7, 2021

We’ve all heard that a picture is worth a thousand words, but have you ever seen a photo that is worth 17 years? Rick Frantz achieves such a feat by relying on his graphic design skills to compose his Water Reporter post from May 5. Images of Diamond Cove Beach… Read more

You’re invited to our Members Annual Meeting

June 30, 2021

Friends of Casco Bay will be hosting the Members Annual Meeting on Tuesday July 20, from 5:30-6:30 p.m. We will celebrate our collective victories for Casco Bay over the past year, vote on term renewals for some members of the Board of Directors, and together consider the work ahead as… Read more