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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:

Our Pumpout Boat Is Taking Care of Business

October 15, 2019

This past summer you may have spotted our distinctive new pumpout boat with the name Headmaster prominently displayed on the wheelhouse. She plies the waters of Casco Bay removing raw sewage from marine toilets and ferrying it to shoreside wastewater facilities. The 26-foot pumpout boat is captained by Pumpout Coordinator Jim Splude, who also… Read more

Many eyes keep watch on Casco Bay

October 9, 2019

Casco Baykeeper Ivy Frignoca is our watchdog on the health of the Bay. She is on or along the water as much as possible, even in her spare time. But she can’t be everywhere. Ivy says, “We rely upon our volunteers to be our extra eyes on the Bay. Increasingly,… Read more

Ivy Frignoca appointed to the Coastal and Marine Working Group of the Maine Climate Council

October 3, 2019

Friends of Casco Bay’s Ivy Frignoca appointed to the Coastal and Marine Working Group of the Maine Climate Council On September 26th, Governor Janet Mills officially launched the Maine Climate Council. She challenged the 39 members of the Council, and the many others who will serve on its subcommittees and… Read more

BEE a BayScaper!

September 13, 2019

We are proud to see a BayScaper sign on the lawn of one of Friends of Casco Bay’s volunteers, Jane Benesch. Her South Portland yard is bedecked with flower beds, vegetable patches, and wood chip-lined paths—and just a little turf. BayScaping is our educational program that encourages residents to restrict… Read more

Volunteer at Friends of Casco Bay’s Wild & Scenic Film Festival

September 12, 2019

Help us with our biggest event of the year, our Wild & Scenic Film Festival! You can volunteer on Saturday, November 2 for several different shifts between 11 AM- 6:15 PM. Please note: Most volunteers are unable to see the films the night of the event. If you sign up… Read more

Have you seen this fin?

September 5, 2019

It’s not a shark! It’s the fin of a Mola mola, or ocean sunfish. One of our staff members spotted this huge fish in mid-August, just off Little Mark Island near Bailey Island, Harpswell. He shared a photo of it with our Water Reporter network. Since then, we have spotted… Read more