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President/CEO Don Perkins: Supporting Our Community

Mar 20, 2020
Strengthening Coastal Communities

Dear Friends of GMRI,
What a week. In the face of a global pandemic, I’ve been equally shocked by the escalating impact and inspired by the shared sacrifice brought on by this disruption.
Like so many other institutions, we’ve closed our lab for the time being and are carrying out our business remotely in the interest of public health.
But remote work simply isn’t an option for so many of the fishermen, aquaculture farms, and coastal communities with whom we work. They’re grappling with all the questions our current situation presents: How do I support and care for my family? Where can I sell my fish if restaurants are closed and distributors aren't buying? How can I still teach my students effectively if our schools aren't open? How can we make important decisions about marine resources amid so much uncertainty and a looming tragedy? How can we as coastal communities continue critical climate adaptation work, even during this devastating public health crisis and its economic impacts?
We’re hard at work with our partners to address these challenges. We’re connecting consumers directly to local seafood buying opportunities, creating online science curriculum resources for students and teachers, developing climate data tools for fishermen, fishery managers, and coastal communities, and testing a whole range of exciting ideas that hold promise not only as short-term fixes, but will also enhance our ability to collaborate in the long run.
Whether we’re responding to the immediate threats of this global pandemic or the long-term risk of global warming, you’ll see us doing whatever we can to support the hardworking families who depend on the Gulf of Maine ecosystem.
Our commitment during this uncertain time is to support our dedicated staff and to help the people in our community the best we can.
We wish you good health and solace with your loved ones,

Donald W. Perkins
P.S. One easy way to help coastal communities is to eat more local fish! Choosing local seafood contributes to the resiliency of our coastal economy, now more than ever. Stay tuned for updates from us on the best ways to buy seafood from your backyard.