Friends of Casco Bay is first and foremost an environmental organization using advocacy based on science.
We work to defend the health of the Bay on many fronts: stormwater and sewage overflow remediation, nitrogen pollution and coastal acidification, oil spill preparedness, discharge permits, snow dumping, dredging, restricting plastic bags, polystyrene, microbeads, and pesticides, and dealing with unexpected issues that come in “over the transom.” Our Pumpout Service removed 13,640 gallons of raw sewage from 535 recreational boats in 2015. Where does all that wastewater go? For the past ten years, Maine Yacht Center generously accepted sewage from our pumpout boat, to pass along to process at the Portland wastewater treatment plant. This past year, in our advocacy for BayScaping, we partnered with 628 citizens, lawn care professionals, and town officials at 16 workshops and presentations, explaining why communities should limit or ban pesticides and fertilizers.
Our Baykeeper boat, Research Vessel Joseph E. Payne, is on the water 365 days a year.
You may see us patrolling the Bay to investigate pollution incidents, highlight threats to our waters, and conduct scientific studies and data collection. Our staff assesses the environmental health of Casco Bay, collecting water quality data year-round. We also collaborate with other researchers studying eelgrass distribution, clam survival, nitrogen levels, and pesticides. Our citizen scientists collect data at 37 sites along Casco Bay’s coast and islands. 92 Citizen Stewards monitor water quality between Cape Elizabeth and Cape Small, on 10 Saturdays from April through October, contributing over 2,000 hours of volunteer time each year.
Education & Outreach
Friends of Casco Bay participated in 44 community events.
We reached over 3,200 people directly through our presentations and exhibits at public events, meeting with Mainers to explain how we all can be good stewards of our coastal waters. Our work was mentioned in at least 55 media outlets, featuring stories about our report A Changing Casco Bay, Portland’s plastic bag and polystyrene ordinances, banning pesticides, and our search for the new Casco Baykeeper. 54 volunteers stenciled more than 187 storm drains through our Storm Drain Stenciling Program. 49 volunteers picked up nearly 800 pounds of trash on Coastal Cleanups with Friends of Casco Bay. Filmgoers consumed 520 bags of popcorn at our 8th Annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival, where inspiring films motivated audience members to take action.