Skip to content

Casco Bay Coastal Academy

Casco Bay Coastal Academy is a quarterly workshop series aimed at building the knowledge base of municipal board members, municipal staff, and others about critical coastal issues, and providing skills training to support their project planning and implementation.

Conservation commissioners and other local board members can and do play an important role in natural resource protection and education. As an arm of local government, local boards can also be a conduit for information, technical assistance, and grant funding from outside organizations, as well as a conduit to those organizations about the needs of the local community. A few resources in Maine provide information and training to elected officials and local boards, including The Maine Municipal Association and Maine Association of Conservation Commissions. Municipal staff and regional planning agencies provide needed technical assistance. Yet these resources seem to fall short, in particular for volunteer board members such as conservation commission and planning board members.


The New England Environmental Finance Center and partners are offering quarterly workshops designed for members of municipal boards and staff, focused on important coastal issues and offering science-based natural resource information. There will be presentations, followed by plenty of time for peer discussion. We also organize trainings on skills that empower local leaders, such as facilitation and outreach skills. A big focus is on peer-to-peer exchange; for instance, highlighting local community success stories and profiling best management practices and programs. 

Coastal Academy Resources

February 22, 2024 | Part 2. Addressing the Challenges

Building upon Part 1. Understanding the Issues held on January 18, 2024, this workshop will focus on Addressing the Challenges. Speakers will share funding and technical assistance available for planning and solutions for private wells and small water systems in the coastal zone.

January 18, 2024 | Part 1. Understanding the Issues

How is climate change impacting drinking water in coastal Maine, and what are some coastal and island communities doing to begin addressing these challenges? In this workshop, we will hear from a few island communities who have been taking steps to protect their drinking water, as well as from Ryan Gordon, Hydrogeologist with Maine Geological Survey. 

March 23, 2023 – Greater Portland Council of Governments

Participants learned strategies for municipalities to work with volunteers to embed climate action in a way that aligns with community resources and capacity. 

June 7, 2022 – Bug Light Park

Participants were introduced to conservation citizen science apps and their core uses and functions before trialing the apps. The apps demonstrated included Litterati, WaterReporter, iNaturalist, iMapInvasives, and ArcGIS Survey123 although there are a variety of apps available to fit specific conservation citizen science purposes. Apps can help organizations to collect field information they may not have the capacity to collect on their own through citizen scientists and volunteers as well as track trends, study the efficacy of improvements, and more!

October 28, 2021- Webinar

May 6, 2021- Webinar

December 17, 2020 – Webinar

September 29, 2020 – Webinar

  • Agenda
  • Presentation by Judy East, Chair, Community Resilience Planning, Public Health, and Emergency Management Working Group, Maine Climate Council
  • Presentation by Kathleen Leyden, Co-Chair, Coastal & Marine Working Group, Maine Climate Council
  • Summary, Maine Climate Council Recommendations
  • Update for Maine Association of Planners on Maine Climate Council

April 28, 2020 – Webinar

January 27, 2020 – Maine Audubon Gilsland Farm

October 29, 2019 – Maine Audubon Gilsland Farm

Screen Shot 2023-04-11 at 2.07.15 PM