Island Institute Update: Responding to COVID-19 in Our Communities

As we all recognize the daily disruptions and challenges ahead for each of us, our communities are grappling with many unknowns. For decades, the Island Institute has been building networks to connect communities with practical information and support to solve problems. We have a firm commitment to our island and coastal communities to continue this support while we navigate these uncertain times together. 

First, the well-being of our staff and community is our top concern.

As we activate our networks across the state and beyond, our Rockland Main Street office will close today for a few weeks as our dedicated staff has moved to their virtual offices. We are fortunate to have the tools in place to immediately operate remotely—though we have closed Archipelago, our brick and mortar store, the online store will remain open.

We have also canceled all upcoming in-person events, including our April Artists and Makers Conference and other near-term in-person convenings, and are now involved in designing virtual events to keep us connected during this period of social distancing.

In particular, we are focused on our partnership with the Maine Islands Coalition to rapidly implement strategies to share information and best practices between the islands during this time.

Our members, community leaders, partners, subscribers, and customers are encouraged to reach out to us here. We have a team assembled to promptly respond to your questions and to connect those working on the frontlines in our island and coastal communities to the resources they need in this time of change. 

As things evolve, we will keep you informed. We’ll be updating you on new deadlines for our open application periods for the Aquaculture Business Development and Island Fellows programs. Our editor, Tom Groening, is also keeping his finger on the pulse of the coastal community news. Expect

The Working Waterfront newspaper to continue to publish the weekly e-newsletter and our monthly print newspaper. Please contact Tom directly as you find community stories that need telling.

For more information, see our resource page on our website. We’ll continue to add to this page as we move forward through the upcoming days and weeks, so keep checking back. Here you can review best practices on how to work remotely; the video from February’s 2020 Waypoints Forum, where we gathered to discuss “Courageous Leadership in Disruptive Times;” and we highlight some of the great work from our project teams, including the Waypoints: Connect publication and our new Edible Seaweed Market Analysis

Be well and take care,

Rob Snyder
President, Island Institute

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