Casco Bay Coastal Academy is a new quarterly workshop series aimed at building the knowledge base of municipal board members 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.

CBEP and partners are organizing a series of training sessions designed for members of conservation commissions and municipal boards, but also open to municipal 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 may also organize trainings on skills that empower local leaders, such as facilitation and outreach skills. A big focus will be peer-to-peer exchange; for instance, highlighting local community success stories and profiling best management practices and programs.


Coastal Academy Resources

Workshop #1:    Conservation Commissions and Plan Review, 10/29/19, Maine Audubon Gilsland Farm


Presentation by Southern Maine Planning & Development Commission

Workshop #2: Nutrient Pollution in Casco Bay, 1/27/20, Maine Audubon Gilsland Farm


Presentation by Curtis Bohlen, Ph.D., Casco Bay Estuary Partnership

Presentation by Ivy Frignoca, Friends of Casco Bay

Presentation by Fred Dillon, City of South Portland

Handout: Nutrients in Your Community: Checklist

Workshop #3: Stream Smart Culvert 101 for Local Boards, 4/28/20, Webinar

Workshop #4: Maine Climate Council & Your Community, 9/29/20, Zoom Workshop


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


NEW! Climate Resilience Funding Workshop Series – Fall 2020

New England Environmental Finance Center, Casco Bay Estuary Partnership, and Maine DEP, with assistance from Resilience Works, LLC and support from USEPA Region 1, offers this 3-part series focused on crafting successful proposals toward sustainable financing of climate resilience and stormwater related projects. This series offers knowledge sharing, idea exchange, and real-world advice and inspiration. Participants are led through successive sessions that build upon one another, from understanding what grant agencies look for in their applications, to beginning the process of establishing sustainable financing sources.

Workshop #2: Financing Community Resilience: Setting Your Community Up for Success, 10/16/20


Workshop #1: Navigating Grant Programs, 8/19/20

Materials from Workshop #1:

Recording of Workshop #1


Presentation, Coastal Communities Grant Program by Ruta Dzenis, Maine DACF

Presentation, SHIP and BIG Programs, Matthew Burns, Maine DOT

Presentation, Watershed Planning & Implementation Grant Programs, Wendy Garland, Maine DEP

Presentation, Municipal Stream Crossing Upgrade Grants Program, John Maclaine, Maine DEP

Case Study: Municipal Stream Crossing Program