Maine Islands Coalition
2011 Annual Report
The Maine Islands Coalition (MIC) was officially formed in March of 2004 to represent and advocate for the concerns and interests of the fourteen year-round Maine Coast Island communities. Each IslandŐs municipal governing body or primary civic organization sends an elected or appointed representative to the quarterly meetings in Rockland.
At each four-hour meeting we address a keynote topic, usually vetted in a panel format, as well as ensuring time slots for other year-round island issues either of the moment or of on-going concern. We have been fortunate to have island-district state legislators attend each meeting and have been successful in securing well-versed in-state panelists from each topical area.
At our first quarterly 2011 meeting in March, we used a strategic planning platform for addressing four focus areas for increasing our future effectiveness: developing better communication within and between our island communities; defining and growing island leadership; facilitating and supporting economic development; and building better relationships with Maine policy-makers.
In May, we enjoyed a large turnout of thoughtful and energetic panelists from the universe of island transportation providers. We heard from and asked questions of water taxi operators, air and surface medivac providers, private and state ferry operators and basic air service personnel. Among the themes discussed were accessibility, safety, reliability, costs, sustainability, and subsidies.
In August we focused on economic development. We heard expert presentations on relevant resources: Women, Work and Community; small business support agencies and enterprises; micro lending; SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) and other semi-professional services; continuing education; and the Island InstituteŐs Island and Coastal Innovation Fund.
We devoted our November Meeting to one of our most worthwhile exercises: in-depth and extended check-ins from each island and interactive exchanges with our island legislators in attendance. We also outlined agendas for our 2012 meetings, the first of which will take place at the State House, in the Visitor Center at 10:00 AM on January 17th.
Please contact us for further information about what goes on at the MIC and what Chebeague Island issues we should be bringing to the MIC Meetings. Anyone is most welcome to attend these meetings; the three 2012 Rockland meeting dates have yet to be set but are usually the first or second Fridays of May, August, and November.