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 we continue our efforts to protect the health of our coastal waters. We will share details about an in-person event we are planning in August — our first in-person event in more than 19 months.
More than 700 Friends have contributed $1.5 million to help maintain three stations for a decade.
Casco Bay is invaluable to the economy and quality of life in Maine. Our coastal waters provide us with food, recreation, transportation, inspiration, and economic opportunities.
But Casco Bay is changing and changing quickly.
How is climate change impacting Casco Bay? Is the Bay getting warmer? Are our waters acidifying? How can we continue to protect the health of Casco Bay for generations to come?
Addressing these questions involves collecting water quality data on a frequent basis and for a long time. In 2019, we created the Climate Change and Casco Bay Fund for Technology, Monitoring, and Community Engagement to launch and maintain three Continuous Monitoring Stations around the Bay and communicate changing conditions to the public. This winter we reached our goal of raising $1.5 million, thanks to more than 700 Friends who donated to the Fund, making our plan a reality.
In March, we launched a new station in eastern Casco Bay in Harpswell’s Cundys Harbor. And, as the photo above shows, in May we deployed our new Portland Harbor station. They complement our existing station located at the coastal center of the Bay in Yarmouth, collecting data hourly on how the Bay is changing, 365 days a year.*
“With climate change already impacting the Bay, the launch of these stations is a game changer for us,” says Executive Director Cathy Ramsdell. “Their steady streams of data will strengthen our reporting to the community and bolster our advocacy and stewardship efforts.”
Staff Scientist Mike Doan designed our Continuous Monitoring Stations, affectionately known as our “cages of science.” Oceanographic equipment in the cages collects data on temperature, acidity, dissolved oxygen, carbon dioxide, chlorophyll, dissolved organic matter, turbidity, salinity, and water depth.
“With three stations working at once, the science only gets better from here,” says Mike. “The Portland Harbor location is key because it is in the most heavily used part of the Bay. In eastern Casco Bay, water quality may be influenced by the Kennebec River, and our Harpswell station will track that. Across the board, these stations are deepening our knowledge of what is happening in Casco Bay.”
To commemorate the launch of our two new Stations and the completion of the Climate Change and Casco Bay Fund that is making this all possible, please join us for an online Casco Bay Matters event to celebrate! On Wednesday, June 16, from 5:30-6:15 p.m., Staff Scientist Mike Doan will share and compare, for the first time, data from all three Continuous Monitoring Stations.
Mike will be joined by Executive Director Cathy Ramsdell and Casco Baykeeper Ivy Frignoca to discuss how these new stations will enhance our advocacy on behalf of Casco Bay for years to come.
We hope you can join us!
What: Celebrating Data From Our New Continuous Monitoring Stations — A Casco Bay Matters Event
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, from 5:30-6:15 p.m., Staff Scientist Mike Doan will share and compare, for the first time, data from all three continuous monitoring stations.
He will be joined by Executive Director Cathy Ramsdell and Casco Baykeeper Ivy Frignoca to talk about how these new data sets are informing our work. Following a year of unprecedented challenge, we will take the time to commemorate our collective work to keep Casco Bay blue.
If you don’t have time to watch the full event, there are a few key moments you may want to check out. We’ve assembled these three clips into one playlist to make it easy to watch. The playlist is eight minutes long.
In the first clip, Peter shares how rising seas can dramatically increase the frequency and duration of “nuisance” flooding events in Portland and along the shores of Casco Bay. Thee, Peter discusses the historical trends of sea level rise in Portland, dating back to 1912. He points out that over the past 118 years, nearly 50% of the increase in sea level has occurred since 1990. Finally, Casco Baykeeper Ivy Frignoca shares how we can respond to rising seas through adaptable policy informed by science.
Your sea level rise questions answered!
Event attendees asked more questions than we had time to answer . . . until now.
Community Engagement Coordinator Sarah Lyman recently followed up with Casco Baykeeper Ivy Frignoca and Marine Geologist Peter Slovinsky to answer questions we did have time to address during the event. Including:
Where can we get good local information about projected sea level rise in our community?
Can future governors disband Maine’s Climate Council?
What will it cost us if we don’t begin to adapt to coming changes?
What are some useful actions we can take to help address climate change and sea level rise?
We are beginning to see the effects of climate change here in Casco Bay. Anticipating and adapting to the impacts of rising seas and stronger storms will prove critical to protecting the health of our coastal waters. If you are on our email list, we will keep you informed on ways you can help make your voice heard on these issues as state and local decision makers continue to develop climate change policies. Joining our email list is also the best way to stay up to date about future events.
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 to take action and build resilience into our infrastructure and our coastlines.
Join us online at noon on March 3 as Casco Baykeeper Ivy Frignoca and special guest, Marine Geologist Peter Slovinsky from Maine Geological Survey, share a special presentation on how Maine’s coast can be resilient to climate change.
How Maine’s coasts can be resilient to climate change
A Casco Bay Matters Event
Who: Casco Baykeeper Ivy Frignoca, Friends of Casco Bay and special guest Marine Geologist Peter Slovinsky,Maine Geological Survey
Peter’s work focuses on sea level rise, coastal hazards, beach and shoreline erosion mapping, living shorelines, and assessing the vulnerability of both natural and built environments to the potential effects of sea-level rise and storms in support of municipal, regional, and state level decision-making. Peter helps communities understand coastal hazards and develop viable local and regional adaptation strategies.
When: Wednesday, March 3, Noon to 1 p.m. Grab your lunch and join us online!
This event will take place via Zoom. We will send you instructions for joining the event after you register.
We had a blast hosting Visual Storytelling and Casco Bay: A Conversation with Knack Factory. Here is a video of the event, for those of you who were unable to attend live or would like to rewatch.
What struck us, as we spoke with Alex Steed and Lindsey Heald about Knack Factory’s process for telling stories, is how collaboratively they work together and with their clients. As an organization that values collaboration and community, we are delighted to count them as Friends of the Bay.
Here are two key moments that you may want to check out:
Here is a behind-the-scenes montage of the week Knack Factory spent with our staff and volunteers as they filmed our documentary. Consider this 4½-minute clip from the event as a big Thank You to all those who made this documentary possible: Lindsey Heald, Thomas Starkey, and Tadin Brown of Knack Factory, volunteers Tony and Hilary Jessen and Joan Benoit Samuelson, LightHawk and their volunteer pilot Jim Schmidt, and Handy Boat.
If you want to see more of Knack Factory’s work, head over to their website.
Thank you to Knack Factory and TD Bank for making our event a success.
Visual Storytelling and Casco Bay: A Conversation with Knack Factory
30 Years of Friends of Casco Bay
In honor of our 30th anniversary, the creative agency Knack Factory made a short film about Friends of Casco Bay’s work.
Join us on the evening of December 2 to see the film they made and to hear a conversation with the filmmakers. Alex Steed, a partner at the agency, and Lindsay Heald, the producer and director of our film, will talk about what inspires them as visual storytellers and share some behind the scenes moments making our film.
What a special evening we had for Celebrating Water – 30 Years of Friends of Casco Bay: A Film, A Poem, and A Conversation with Gary Lawless on July 27! Thank you to all who joined us for this one-of-a-kind event.
If you missed the event — or if you want to share it with some friends — you can watch the video of the celebration above.
We were delighted that Gulf of Maine Poet Gary Lawless joined us for this special event and took time for our conversation about the environment, art, and inspiration. You can read Gary’s poem, “For Casco Bay, For Us,” below.
Internationally-renowned Gulf of Maine poet Gary Lawless wrote the poem below in honor of Friends of Casco Bay’s 30th Anniversary. Friends of the Bay heard the first (and second!) reading of this poem during our Celebrating Water – 30 Years of Friends of Casco Bay event on July 27, 2020.
For Casco Bay, for Us
By Gary Lawless
rising in the mountains, the water,
finding its way
from granite to the bay
we are water
and we want to flow
flow through our lives
here a forest, here
a town, flowing, down –
here are rocks, falls –
we fall, at the end,
at the mouth
into a larger body,
our body, body of
water, to become
to become more than we are –
where the future flows
into the sea,
and all that you see
we are water
we are patterns in water,
currents, eddies, we
pool and move
on, we flow –
how many rivers flow
into the bay
how many streams
into the rivers
where does the rain go
where does the wind go
bays to the ocean
how much moonlight
touches the water
how many fish
find their way home
we are water
and we want to flow –
in beauty, in light,
in whatever weather
the rocks are singing
as water passes over
it is high tide
and our hearts are full
it is low tide
and we are waiting
we have been waiting for you
for thousands of years
we are water
the water is the bay
the wind is the bay
the fish, the birds, the plants,
we are the bay
what happens to water
happens to us
we are water
and we want to flow, saying
this is our body and
we are home
we rise as water rises
we fall as water falls
we are water
we are the bay
we are water
we are the bay
About Gary Lawless:
Gary, originally from Belfast/Penobscot Bay, is the award-winning author of 21 poetry collections. In addition to sharing his own writings as a bio-regional poet, Gary has long worked to encourage others to bring their voices into the wider community. He has empowered combat veterans, homeless people, immigrants, refugees, adults with disabilities, and prison inmates to write poetry and publish their works. In honor of his poetry and his community work, the Maine Humanities Council awarded Gary the 2017 Constance H. Carlson Public Humanities Prize, the University of Southern Maine has given him an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters, and the Emily Harvey Foundation has offered him two residencies in Venice, Italy. He and Beth Leonard opened Gulf of Maine Books in Brunswick 40 years ago as a community hub.
On Monday, July 27, 2020, we invite you to join us for a special online event.
Celebrating Water – 30 Years of Friends of Casco Bay A Film, A Poem, and A Conversation with Gary Lawless
We each feel connected to Casco Bay in different ways. As we continue celebrating 30 years of Friends of Casco Bay’s work to protect water quality in the Bay, this event highlights connections between artistic endeavors and the Bay.
Register now to join us online on Monday, July 27, at 5 pm, to see our 30th Anniversary Film and our conversation about the importance of place with bioregional Maine poet Gary Lawless as he shares a special poem. We expect this event will last for 45 minutes.
In this 30 second video, Executive Director Cathy Ramsdell invites you to join us to celebrate 30 years of working with you to keep Casco Bay blue!
In honor of this auspicious occasion, we are hosting a couple of online events, and we want you to join us for the first, on Tuesday, June 16. You will hear from our Congressionals, vote our Board of Directors into office, share in our collective successes, and hear about our plans for the decade ahead.
When: Tuesday, June 16, 5 to 6 pm. While the event will begin at 5 pm, please log on and join us earlier as we gather together online, a little before 5 pm, for a special slideshow celebrating 30 years of protecting the health of Casco Bay.
Who should attend: You! Our Annual Meeting is open to the entire community: our members, volunteers, supporters, professional colleagues, and all who love Casco Bay!
Thirty years ago, a small group of concerned citizens formed Friends of Casco Bay after a report identified the Bay as one of the most polluted regions in the nation. Since then, we have used a science-based, community-oriented approach to improve the health of our coastal waters. Our work goes on. And we don’t do this work alone – thank you for your input and support. We look forward to seeing you online on June 16.