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Stories of Impact: Island Institute

by Katie Manter

This case study is part of MANP’s Stories of Impact series highlighting the many ways Maine’s nonprofits are essential to a strong and healthy Maine. MANP’s full Adding Impact Report will be released on January 17, 2019. 

Maine’s coastal and island communities are a valuable component of Maine’s identity and economy. Seventy-one percent of Maine’s tourist spending, $4 billion, is spent along the coast each year. Fisheries are a top employer. In 2017, lobster landings accounted for $433 million in value to the state.

Together with Maine’s island and coastal leaders, the Island Institute is focused on catalyzing a future where families and the environment can thrive. By emphasizing programs that develop strong community economies, enhance education and leadership, and deliver solutions, the Island Institute is helping to ensure that Maine’s island and coastal communities continue to be an essential ingredient in the recipe that makes Maine a place everyone can live, work, and flourish.

In supporting Maine’s island and coastal communities, in 2018 the Island Institute has:

  • Provided high-speed broadband technical assistance to 38 communities, so far increasing speeds significantly for 9
  • Boosted access to sustainable affordable energy achieving $8.2 million in household savings since 2015, weatherizing 20% of island homes, and avoiding 142,000 tons of carbon
  • Supported long-term sustainability planning with

35 municipal leaders attending sea-level rise resiliency trainings highlighting at risk coastal infrastructure and adaptation strategies.

  • Fostered education by providing 52 local leadership trainings, The Island Teacher’s Conference, and student success
  • Offered direct support to 10 community organizations with Island Fellows

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