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Friends of Casco Bay is a marine environmental nonprofit
organization that works to improve and protect the environmental health of
Casco Bay. We are a founding member of Waterkeeper® Alliance, a network of more
than 255 independent organizations working to protect waters around the world.
Today, when one sees hundreds of sailboats plying Casco Bay,
it is hard to imagine that in the 1970’s sailing magazines recommended avoiding
Casco Bay’s foul smelling waters. Concerned citizens formed Friends of Casco
Bay in 1989, after a report identified our waters as one of the most polluted
regions in the nation. No one had a handle on the environmental problems in the
Bay, so one of our first major initiatives was to launch a water quality
monitoring program, enlisting volunteers from the community to “take the pulse”
of Casco Bay using proven scientific methods. To this day, we continue to be a
science-based, community-oriented environmental organization. Our goal is to
inspire those who live, work, and play on Casco Bay to be better stewards of
our waters. We meet our mission through science, education, and advocacy. Much
of the scientific data that informs our efforts is collected by our volunteers
and staff. Thanks in part to our work, industrial pollution has decreased,
municipalities have worked to reduce sewage pollution, and the Bay has been
designated a No Discharge Area, making it one of the water bodies in the
country most protected from ship pollution.
A board of 21 directors and 5 honorary directors oversees
the work of Friends of Casco Bay. We currently have more than 2,200 active
members and financial supporters. More than 225 volunteers, students, and
interns assist us each year, monitoring our water quality, conducting coastal
cleanups and helping with presentations and educational events. In addition to
being an organization that attracts both volunteers and donors, we are known as
an exceptional place to work. We currently have eight full-time employees and
one seasonal staff member. We balance our ability to leverage collaborative
efforts, funds, and volunteers, with the capacity and capabilities of our
staff—a talented team, all passionate about our mission.