MCCF Monthly

October 2023

Greetings MCCF Friends,

I pinch myself when I think of how fast my first year at the helm of MCCF has gone by, and I am in awe of how much we have accomplished thanks to the support of a dedicated Board, staff, and the entire community. After a couple of weird pandemic years, it was great to get back to ‘normal’. 


The backdrop of opportunities facing Mainers continues to keep us busy of course. The recent Downeast National Heritage Area designation brought much appreciated attention to the region, as well as federal funding in support of infrastructure projects and ecosystem-scale efforts. In collaboration with many long standing partners, this past year has seen us reimagine what we can achieve through watershed and ecosystem scale initiatives, community stewardship, and next generation leadership. The possibilities are endless!

The sense of vulnerability has become more real this past year though, and it was hard to miss Hurricane Lee barreling directly at us at 90mph. It made us even more aware that our work to help our community, our fishermen, and our fisheries adapt in the face of change is more urgent than ever. We thank everyone who helps make this work possible and invite you to check out our 2023 Annual Report.



Climate Resilience In Action

MCCF continues to work closely with the Deer Isle, Stonington, and peninsula communities to advance proposals for climate resilient modifications to the Deer Isle Causeway. Maine Department of Transportation expects to have several design options ready for public comment this Fall. Stay tuned for meeting dates!

(Photo credit: Alex MacLean)

This work falls within a larger portfolio of recently-funded efforts by the Maine Community Foundation, who partnered with the Builders Initiative. Recently, as fall settled in, we gathered as a grantee group to connect our community and research efforts, so that we can also see the gaps in our cumulative efforts toward achieving our shared goal of Maine coastal community climate resilience. This type of collaboration is vital in a geographically distributed and rural state like Maine, where we have many smaller organizations that must work together - and with deep collaboration are able to have deeper impact than we could have working alone.

It often surprises those from away, that in Maine, we all know each other and each and every one of us wears several hats. We often know the different facets of what our colleagues are working on because, across the state, we are few and therefore, a small community unto ourselves. However, since the pandemic we haven’t yet seen each other in person as remote meeting platforms make our daily schedules so much more dense. The time for sharing a coffee or catching up on a walk down the hall has been lost, and with it, our chances to see the picture more holistically. Alexa, Mike, and Carla are all

thankful for the opportunity to gather, share, and reconnect with folks beyond our first circles of collaboration. They each walked away with a stronger sense of community and inspiration that shapes the direction for our work.

Thank You Discovery Wharf Visitors

for a Great Season!

Thank you to the thousands of folks who made Discovery Wharf part of their summer adventure. If the amount of laughter is any indicator, Leroy didn't miss a beat entertaining and informing you all. It seemed like a great time was had by so many of you!

This summer went by lightning fast and we were thrilled to unveil a new fisheries and climate resilience in-action exhibit featuring many of our colorful characters and locals reflecting on the changes they have seen and how we are adapting so far as a community. This new theater style exhibit delights visitors of all ages with story-telling, scenic footage of our coastal beauty and a provocative video exhibit that was made possible thanks to our many supporters. Win a family pass to Discovery Wharf. Find out how by visiting our website.

Sentinel Survey Nears Completion of 11th Year

The Eastern Gulf of Maine Sentinel Survey wraps up its 2023 season this week. This year brought 3 new fishermen collaborators and a new scientific partner, Maine Department of Marine Resources. The survey uses hook and line jigs to sample the near coastal areas of Downeast Maine during seasonal times and within geographic areas that are not covered by other independent surveys in the Gulf of Maine. This survey enhances our understanding of an area that has not seen active ground fish fishing in the past 30-years, and is designed to help detect early signals of recovery.

We recently learned that our 10-year long time series was reviewed by the New England Council Science and Statistical Committee for inclusion into the Cod Stock Assessment. This data stream was accepted as a juvenile index for the newly called out eastern Gulf of Maine cod sub population. Partnering with the DMR and expanding our collaboration with new captains are important adjustments we made toward supporting the Sentinel Survey over the long term so that we can maintain this critical data set.

Danielle Larson Receives Paul R. Lewis Award

MCCF hosted summer intern Danielle Larson this year from UMaine. She brought youthful energy to the team, and a tremendous skillset in designing posters and communicating complicated content for the public. She and Leroy learned together and bonded over a busy summer in the Wharf. Before her August departure, Danielle was awarded our Paul R. Lewis Award given to support, honor and inspire future fisheries leaders. Paul was a former board member and ardent PERC/MCCF cheerleader.

OFIP is Saving Lives on the Water & Land

Opiate-Free Island Partnership has free Opioid Rescue Kits for overdose emergencies available to fishing vessel captains in the

Deer Isle-Stonington community. The kit contains 4 doses of nasal NARCAN and instructions for use in a rugged plastic case. OFIP will provide training, and Maine’s Good Samaritan laws protect those who use NARCAN in overdose emergencies. Contact Ashley Pesek 479-6255 or Saige Brages 460-5771.

Our Coastal Fisheries Fanfare Event was a huge success. Look for this community concert again in August 2024. Do you have suggestions for fishermen you'd like to see perform?

If so, please reach out and let us know.

Please consider donating today.

Together we can fish forever.

Your generosity helps Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries with our efforts to secure a sustainable future for fisheries and fishing communities in Eastern Maine. Tax-friendly options include gifts of stock, IRA QCDs and DAFs. Thank you! Please consider donating today. Together we can fish forever.


The MCCF Online Auction

will be held

November 12th through

November 26th.

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