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New Partnership Aims to Address Problems of Maine Islanders

To address areas of critical concern for Gulf of Maine islanders,  the Island Institute and the College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor are launching a new partnership. 

Funded by a $2 million dollar challenge grant from the Patridge Foundation, the Fund for Maine Islands will be used to seek solutions in four problem areas:  energy, agriculture and food, education, and adaptation to climate change. 

College of the Atlantic President Darron Collins says the program is being endowed to ensure funding over the long haul.

"The idea is that complex solutions require long term engagement," Collins says, "and it's not fair to a community to just walk in, spend one, two or three years on an idea and then leave."

Collins says this is a new model for higher education and community development that involves students, faculty, Island Institute staff and members of outer island communities.