Our Baykeeper Boats Fund Campaign was created to replace our Baykeeper vessel and establish a fund to support vessel operations.
Thank you to all of our Baykeeper Boats Fund campaign donors. None of this work would be possible without your generous support!
About the Baykeeper Boats Fund Campaign
Friends of Casco Bay’s mission is to improve and protect the environmental health of Casco Bay.
The most fundamental way we do this is through supporting the Baykeeper Program. The Casco Baykeeper is the eyes, ears, and voice of advocacy for Casco Bay. This requires a year-round, safe, and reliable presence on the water for investigating pollution incidents, maintaining visibility in the community, and conducting scientific studies and data collection.
Our Baykeeper vessel, Donovan’s Delight, has 30 years of water under its hull, and after 18 years of service to the Casco Baykeeper, it is nearing the end of its useful life. Downtime and maintenance costs have been increasing, and the boat is sometimes not available when needed most. At the same time, we need to have funds to draw on to maintain the rest of our fleet, which includes our pumpout boat BAYKEEPER II, a whaler, and a number of smaller vessels.
The Baykeeper Boats Fund Campaign is about being on the water and keeping a presence on Casco Bay.
The Campaign seeks:
- $485,000 to acquire and equip a vessel ($150,000 estimated value) and to create a Boat Fund ($335,000) to maintain the Friends of Casco Bay fleet.
- Commitments from donors for capital gifts to the Boat Campaign, in addition to – not in lieu of – annual support. Three-year pledges are welcome.
- Boat acquisition opportunities that are combinations of vessel purchase and donation, or outright donation, with tax advantages to the owner/seller.
- A new or used vessel that is 28’; built for maximum stability, seaworthiness, and safety; capable of 26 – 28 knots; sturdy enough to break through ice; cabin enclosed for winter conditions; spacious enough to serve as a public relations platform for the organization.
The function of our Baykeeper Boat
- Our Casco Baykeeper program cannot exist without a boat. As a founding member of Waterkeeper Alliance, a network of nearly 200 environmental groups working worldwide, we helped set quality standards to which all Waterkeepers must adhere. A boat is mandatory for every Waterkeeper on the planet, and must be readily available and actively used for patroling the Bay.
- Scientifically rigorous water quality monitoring is the foundation of Friends of Casco Bay’s credibility and effectiveness in our advocacy. Data collection requires a vessel that can navigate a 75-mile route around the Bay during the short daylight hours of winter and penetrate ice-choked passages, as well as provide safe, efficient transport throughout the year.
- Maintaining a constant presence on the water is crucial. For example, by being on the water during the Julie N oil spill in 1996, we greatly impacted the success of the cleanup efforts and cemented the credibility of Friends of Casco Bay with the responders, including the US Coast Guard, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, and the oil company responsible for the cleanup. We detected oil getting past the barriers and alerted the responders. Our prompt action prevented much of the oil from reaching critical habitats.
- Responding at a moment’s notice is critical in investigating pollution incidents, such as illegal vessel discharges and leaking pipes. Reports of sheen, discoloration, or odors often dissipate too quickly for the State to respond in time to document the incidents.
- Educating stakeholders: By accommodating reporters and film crews, we gain the opportunity to highlight issues we feel merit media attention. We also escort government officials, regulators, visiting waterkeepers, and donors around the Bay to show them the resource we all are responsible for protecting and to demonstrate strategies that have worked in Casco Bay.
- Conducting special research efforts – sediment sampling for toxic chemicals, restoring clam flats, and studying hypoxic conditions in challenged areas of the Bay.
- Assisting other scientists in their work – assessing fisheries opportunities (sea urchin research), surveying the extent of diagnostic species (eelgrass), classifying habitats, and monitoring ocean currents and tidal circulation (deploying and monitoring buoys).
- Assessing the potential impact of marine development projects, such as boat launch sites, docks, and dredging of shipping lanes.
Support the Baykeeper Boats Fund Campaign
If you would like to make a donation to the Baykeeper Boats Fund Campaign you can visit our donation page. Simply choose Baykeeper Boats Fund in the designation box. Alternatively, you can fill out the Baykeeper Boats Fund Pledge Form . Thank you!