35th Anniversary logo for Friends of Casco Bay

It Takes a Community to Protect the Bay

Friends of Casco Bay’s most valuable asset is a committed corps of volunteers. Together, they have donated more than 150,000 hours of service over the past 25 years. Our neighbors around the Bay help us tackle issues and projects in ways that significantly enhance the work of our staff of ten.

We piloted our Water Quality Monitoring Program in 1992 to prove that volunteers could collect reliable data. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has repeatedly given our monitoring methods its scientific “seal of approval.” Our communities and governments could not afford to pay professional scientists and contractors for the work our volunteer citizen scientists do for free. Our volunteers sample on 10 selected Saturdays, at 7 a.m. and 3 p.m., from April through October.

Our volunteers and staff collect data sets that:

  • Ground our advocacy with credible, scientifically accurate facts
  • Are legally defensible and are incorporated into Maine’s biennial report to Congress under the Clean Water Act
  • Create a portrait of Casco Bay that documents baseline conditions and environmental changes
  • Inspire stewardship by encouraging community service and volunteerism
  • Stimulate and support research by government agencies, universities, and scientific institutions

Read the next section of the report How Healthy Is Casco Bay?