Who Floats our Boat? You Do!

Posted on May 20, 2012

Did you know: Friends of Casco Bay’s Baykeeper boat is essential to our mission as we use the boat to investigate pollution and conduct scientific studies. Our current vessel is more than 30 years old and nearing the end of its useful life, so we have initiated the Baykeeper Boats Fund campaign to replace our aging boat and provide a maintenance fund for our small fleet.

Our advocacy is credible and effective because of the scientifically-rigorous water quality monitoring we do year-round, year after year. When we take a position, we have 20 years of data to back it up. Collecting this data requires a Baykeeper boat, which is why we launched a campaign to replace our aging workhorse and create a fund for upkeep, insurance, and dockage fees.

No matter the season, our boat needs to be ready for heavy service. Each month we do a 75-mile circuit to monitor water quality all around the Bay. Peter Milholland often pilots our Baykeeper boat on these trips. He recalls many winter mornings motoring into virtually inaccessible parts of the Bay, such as upper Middle Bay. The reinforced hull would allow the boat to break through the sea ice, sending shards of ice skittering across the frozen surface. Some wintery days, our boat would become perched on top of the ice. After taking samples, Peter would have to gently back the boat down until he and the crew were again free of the ice.

Casco BAYKEEPER® Joe Payne says, “Our old boat has served us well, but she has 30 years of water under her hull, and her usefulness is nearing an end. Downtime and maintenance costs have been increasing, and the boat has sometimes not been available when we needed it most. In terms of safety and reliability, it’s prudent for us to have a new boat—new, at least to us!”

The Baykeeper Boats Fund will enable us to replace our aging vessel and provide the flexibility we need to ensure all of our boats are ready at a moment’s notice to monitor water quality, enforce our current environmental laws, and help educate the community about being stewards of the Bay.

How do we use our Baykeeper boat?

Let us count the ways:

1. Conduct scientific research
2. Investigate pollution reports and incidents
3. Educate stakeholders, such as government officials,
regulators, and reporters
4. Assist other scientists in their work
5. Assess the impact of marine development projects

Help us complete our Baykeeper Boats Fund campaign:

Donate today and join other friends of Friends of Casco Bay who, by making a gift to the Boats Fund in addition

• Join us at the launch of the public phase of the campaign on June 5th from 5-8 p.m. at DiMillo’s On the Water