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.

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:

Flushable wipes are not flushable

March 27, 2020

With toilet paper currently in short supply, there is a looming problem that threatens cities, towns, and water districts. So-called flushable wipes are clogging sewer systems. Flushable wipes are NOT flushable. Friends of Casco Bay has worked with the Portland Water District to educate the community that “flushables” actually are not… Read more

We’re still monitoring the health of Casco Bay, and you can too

March 25, 2020

It is lonely out on the pier where Staff Scientist Mike Doan is collecting data on the health of Casco Bay — and he is playing it safe, taking his own selfie as seen here. We are continuing to monitor the health of Casco Bay. Our Continuous Monitoring Station is still… Read more

Mary Cerullo, Associate Director

Mary Cerullo Begins a New Chapter

March 24, 2020

As many Friends of the Bay know, over the past 22 years, Associate Director Mary Cerullo has been our writer-in-residence, our media maven, the developer of our Casco Bay Curriculum, our lead ambassador for BayScaping, and a key team member in our community relations work. If you attended one of… Read more

Donate to Climate Change and Casco Bay Fund

March 24, 2020

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 maintain three oceanographic Continuous Monitoring Stations at three coastal sites around the Bay to collect data on… Read more

Water Reporter Post of the Month

March 19, 2020

While you are advised to remain socially distant from other people, you don’t need to stay socially distant from Casco Bay! We encourage you to get outside and stroll by the waterfront, a beach, or rocky shore. While you are out there, keep an eye out for pollution, nuisance algal… Read more

The Bay Is Blooming

March 4, 2020

What are the signs of spring for you? Chirping chickadees? Street sweeping? Longer daylight? Changing the clocks? (March 8th is the start of Daylight Savings Time!) The lengthening daylight jumpstarts the growth of phytoplankton, the single-celled plants that are the foundation of the ocean food web. Like plants on land, they… Read more